Fasting blood glucose and cancer risk in a cohort of more than 140,000 adults in Austria

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We investigated relations between fasting blood glucose and the incidence of cancer.


A population-based cohort of more than 140,000 Austrian adults (63,585 men, 77,228 women) was followed over an average of 8.4 years. Incident cancer (other than non-melanoma skin cancers) was ascertained by a population-based cancer registry (n=5,212). Cox proportional-hazards models were used to estimate hazard rate ratios (HR) stratified for age and adjusted for smoking, occupational group and body mass index.


The highest fasting blood glucose category (≥7.0 mmol/l) was weakly associated with all cancers combined (HR 1.20; 95% CI, 1.03-1.39 in men and 1.28; 95% CI, 1.08-1.53 in women) relative to the reference level (4.2-5.2 mmol/l). The strongest association was found for liver cancer in men (HR 4.58; 95% CI, 1.81-11.62). Positive associations between fasting hyperglycaemia (6.1-6.9 or ≥7.0 mmol/l) and cancer incidence were also observed for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in men, and for colorectal and bladder cancer in women. Breast cancer in women diagnosed at or after age 65 was also associated with fasting blood glucose ≥7.0 mmol/l. Positive associations with glucose values >5.3 mmol/l were noted for thyroid cancer, gallbladder/bile duct cancer and multiple myeloma in men and women combined.


These findings provide further evidence that elevated blood glucose is associated with the incidence of several types of cancer in men and women.

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