(HealthDay News) – Postmenopausal women with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer, particularly if they require insulin therapy, according to research published online May 22 in Diabetes Care.

Juhua Luo, PhD, of West Virginia University in Morgantown, and colleagues utilized data from the Women’s Health Initiative study involving a total of 145,765 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years, of whom 8,154 had diabetes, who were followed for an average of 11 years. A total of 2,257 cases of lung cancer were diagnosed.

The researchers found that postmenopausal women with self-reported treated diabetes were 27% more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer compared to women without diabetes. Furthermore, postmenopausal women with diabetes who required insulin therapy were 71% more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer. No association between lung cancer risk and either duration of diabetes or untreated diabetes was observed.

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“In this large prospective study in postmenopausal women, women with treated diabetes, especially those requiring insulin, had significantly higher risk of lung cancer,” the authors write. “The risk of lung cancer did not differ significantly by duration of diabetes.”

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