High blood sugar levels linked to pancreatic cancer in older adults: Study
Sweden: High levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia) in people aged >55 years is associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a recent study in the journal Pancreatology.
Sara Jacobson, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, and colleagues aimed to determine the risk association between fasting glucose levels and pancreatic cancer using systematically collected prediagnostic blood glucose samples.
For this purpose, the researchers conducted a prospective nested case-control study of participants from the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study. It included 182 cases that developed pancreatic cancer and four matched controls per case. They analyzed blood glucose levels collected up to 24 years before pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
Using unconditional and conditional logistic regression models, the association between fasting glucose levels and pancreatic cancer risk was determined.
Key findings of the study include:
- The unadjusted risk of developing pancreatic cancer increased with increasing fasting glucose levels (OR 1.30).
- Impaired fasting glucose (≥6.1 mmol/L) was associated with an adjusted risk of 1.77 for developing pancreatic cancer.
- In subgroup analysis, fasting glucose levels were associated with an increased risk in never-smokers (OR 4.02) and non-diabetics (OR 3.08).
- The ratio between fasting glucose and BMI was higher among future pancreatic cancer patients and an increased ratio was associated with an elevated risk of pancreatic cancer (OR 1.66).
- Fasting glucose levels were not associated with TNM stage at diagnosis or survival.
"Our results show that fasting glucose levels are associated with pancreatic cancer risk," wrote the authors. "Impaired fasting glucose in individuals aged >55 is associated with an increased risk. Impaired fasting glucose is an independent risk factor and should be investigated further in pancreatic cancer risk assessment including other risk factors in a larger study population."
The study titled, "Hyperglycemia as a risk factor in pancreatic cancer: A nested case-control study using prediagnostic blood glucose levels," is published in the journal Pancreatology.