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Asians with Type 2 diabetes at higher risk of cancer

Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with cancer among Asians, with those suffering from the disease more likely to die from malignant cell growth, a study showed Thursday.

People with diabetes, which is linked to certain lifestyle habits such as diet, were 26 percent more likely to die from any form of cancer, according to the study by Yoo Geun-young from Seoul National University College of Medicine.


"It was confirmed that Type 2 diabetes is one of the cancer risk factors for the Asian population," Yoo said.

The study was conducted on a total of nearly 770,000 patients from seven Asian countries -- South Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Japan, India and Bangladesh -- over the period of seven years.

Data for the study were drawn from the Asia Cohort Consortium, an international cancer research project seeking to understand the relationship between genetics and diseases.

It marks the first time that a study has been conducted among Asians as more evidence suggests an association between diabetes and cancer. However, most of the studies in the past dealt with the Western population.

The study indicates the need for appropriate cancer screening among individuals with Type 2 diabetes, and a greater emphasis on lifestyle modifications.

"Asian countries should come up with a government policy such as diet modification to reduce diabetes in order to reduce the increasing outbreaks of cancer," Yoo said.

The number of South Korean diabetes patients jumped from 2.19 million in 2011 to 2.55 million in 2015, separate data showed.

The findings were published in the latest edition of the journal, "Diabetologia." (Yonhap)