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Significant worldwide burden of cancer attributable to diabetes and high BMI

By Colin Kenny, Editor – Diabetes Distilled


Raised BMI is positively associated with several cancers, but the global cancer burden attributable to diabetes has not been quantified. Investigators estimated the proportion of global cancer incidence in 2012 that was attributable to diabetes and high BMI, individually and combined. They used GLOBOCAN cancer incidence data to estimate the number of cancer cases implicated by these two risk factors. They then estimated the number of cancer cases in 2012 that could be accounted for by increases in the prevalence of both diabetes and high BMI from 1980 to 2002.

They found that in 2012, diabetes and high BMI combined were responsible for an estimated 792,600 new cases of cancer worldwide (5.6% of all 14,067,894 cancer cases reported by GLOBOCAN). In all, 280,100 (2.0%) cancer cases were attributable to diabetes and 544,300 (3.9%) to high BMI alone. Together the two risk factors combined were responsible for 626,900 new cancer cases in 2012 and this were almost twice as common in women (496,700 cases) than in men (295,900 cases).


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