Serum Glucose Levels Tied to Colorectal Cancer Risk in Women

No association found between serum insulin, homeostasis model assessment and cancer risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Serum glucose levels, but not serum insulin or homeostasis model assessment, are associated with increased colorectal cancer risk in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online Nov. 29 in the British Journal of Cancer.

Geoffrey C. Kabat, Ph.D., from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues investigated the association between circulating insulin or glucose levels and the risk of colorectal cancer. Fasting blood samples were collected at baseline and during a 12-year follow-up from 4,902 women without diabetes, from the Women's Health Initiative study. The samples were analyzed for insulin and glucose levels. The association with colorectal cancer risk was assessed through Cox proportional hazard models in baseline and time-dependent covariates analyses.

The investigators identified 81 incident cases of colorectal cancer during follow-up. Baseline blood glucose levels were positively associated with colorectal cancer and colon cancer risk (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio for highest [≥ 99.5 mg dl−1] versus the lowest [<89.5 mg dl−1] tertile, 1.74; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.97 to 3.15, and 2.25; 95 percent CI, 1.12 to 4.51, respectively). There was no association seen between serum insulin and homeostasis model assessment and cancer risk.

"These data suggest that elevated serum glucose levels may be a risk factor for colorectal cancer in postmenopausal women," the authors write.

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