Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Hematological Cancer Risk Found

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Diabetes mellitus type 2 seems to increase the risk of developing lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma, but more studies are needed to solidify this link, according to researchers of Tufts University, Boston, MA, and Brown University, Providence, RI. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Increased Incidence of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Leukemia, and Myeloma in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies,” which was published in Blood on May 24.

The investigators hypothesized that diabetes mellitus type 2 is associated with increased risk of developing lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma. From a literature search, the investigators identified 26 studies (13 case-control and 13 cohort studies) that evaluated this association. Using a random effects model, patient outcome was calculated as an odds ratio (OR). “Heterogeneity and publication bias were evaluated using the I2 index and the trim-and-fill analysis, respectively; quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale,” the investigators wrote.

The OR for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but not for Hodgkin lymphoma, was increased at 1.22 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07–1.39; P<.01). There was an increased OR for peripheral T-cell lymphoma (OR = 2.42, 95% CI, 1.24–4.72; P=.009) but not for other non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes. The OR for leukemia was 1.22 (95% CI, 1.03–1.44; P=.02) and the OR for myeloma was 1.22 (95% CI, 0.98–1.53; P=.08).

The investigators concluded: “Although diabetes mellitus type 2 seems to increase the risk of developing lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma, future studies should focus on evaluating other potential confounders such as obesity, dietary habits, physical activity, and/or anti-diabetic therapy.”


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