Current Diabetes Reports

, 14:535 | Cite as

The Epidemiology of Diabetes and Cancer

  • Bendix Carstensen
  • Marit Eika Jørgensen
  • Søren Friis
Diabetes and Other Diseases-Emerging Associations (JJ Nolan, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Diabetes and Other Diseases—Emerging Associations


The literature on cancer occurrence in persons with diabetes has almost invariably been concerned with relative measures. In this paper, we briefly review this, but the aim is to quantify the absolute occurrence of diabetes and cancer in the population in order to give a fuller picture, which also includes the competing mortality risk. Overall, we find that some 35 % of the population will have a diagnosis of diabetes in their lifetime, 44 % a diagnosis of cancer, and about 15 % will have both diagnoses. The impact of differing mortality between persons with and without diabetes is illustrated by the fact that a person without diabetes at age 50 has a smaller lifetime risk of cancer than a person aged 50 with diabetes. Thus, the differences in cancer occurrence between persons with and without diabetes are of quantitatively smaller importance than the differences in mortality.


Diabetes and cancer Epidemiology Demography Lifetime risk of diabetes and cancer Absolute risk of diabetes 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Bendix Carstensen and Marit Eika Jørgensen are employees of Steno Diabetes Center, a research Hospital owned by Novo Nordisk and operating as part of the Danish National Health Service. Bendix Carstensen and Marit Eika Jørgensen own shares in Novo Nordisk.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bendix Carstensen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marit Eika Jørgensen
    • 1
  • Søren Friis
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Clinical EpidemiologySteno Diabetes CenterGentofteDenmark
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of CopenhagenKøbenhavnDenmark
  3. 3.Research CenterDanish Cancer SocietyKøbenhavnDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenKøbenhavnDenmark

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