Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 769–777 | Cite as

Cancer among patients with diabetes, obesity and abnormal blood lipids: a population-based register study in Sweden

  • Bo AttnerEmail author
  • Mona Landin-Olsson
  • Thor Lithman
  • Dennis Noreen
  • Håkan Olsson
Original paper



To study how the incidence of cancer is related to diabetes, obesity or abnormal blood lipids.


Diagnosis of diabetes, obesity or abnormal blood lipids was studied 0-10 years prior to the diagnosis of cancer in 19,756 cases of cancer and in 147,324 controls matched regarding age, sex and domicile.


Diabetes was significantly more common prior to diagnosis in patients with liver, pancreatic, colon and urinary tract/bladder cancer and in patients with breast cancer diagnosed with diabetes 0–4 years prior to the cancer diagnosis. A lower risk of diabetes was seen in patients with prostate carcinoma among individuals with diabetes diagnosed 5–10 years prior to the cancer diagnosis. The findings remained after adjusting for obesity and high blood lipids. Obesity was significantly more common in patients with endometrial, colon and kidney cancer and with breast cancer above the age of 60 years in those where obesity was diagnosed close to the diagnosis of cancer. High blood lipids were significantly more common in patients with ovarian cancer and less common in patients with breast cancer.


The study confirms some previous findings concerning comorbidity and cancer and highlights some new ones.


Cancer Diabetes Obesity Abnormal blood lipids Comorbidity Epidemiology Insulin and metformin therapy 



Supported by grants from the Southern Regional Health Care Committee (Södra Regionvårdsnämnden), Swedish Cancer Society and Region Scania Funds. All authors have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Attner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mona Landin-Olsson
    • 2
  • Thor Lithman
    • 1
  • Dennis Noreen
    • 1
  • Håkan Olsson
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Clinical SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Endocrinology, Clinical SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden
  3. 3.Department of Oncology, Clinical SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden

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