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Diabetes Mellitus and the Incidence of Colorectal Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract

Aim

The purpose of this study was to determine whether diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Methods

Relevant studies were identified in MEDLINE and EMBASE (up until November 1st, 2011). Inclusion criteria were original, peer-reviewed publications, with case–control and cohort studies (for studies on diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer). Summary relative risks with 95% confidence intervals were calculated with a random-effects model.

Results

Twenty-four studies including eight case–control and 16 cohort studies, with a total of 3,659,341 participants, were included in this updated systematic review and meta-analysis, and all involved diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer risk. Meta-analysis of the 24 included studies indicated that diabetes was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, compared with no diabetes (summary RR of colorectal cancer incidence = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.20–1.31), without heterogeneity between studies (P heterogeneity = 0.296). Sub-group analyses found that these results were consistent between case–control and cohort studies and among studies conducted in different areas. The association between diabetes and colorectal cancer incidence did not differ significantly by sex and sub-sites. Insulin therapy was also positively associated with risk of colorectal cancer (summary RR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.18–1.35), with evidence of heterogeneity between studies (P heterogeneity = 0.014).

Conclusions

Our findings further support a relationship between diabetes and increased risk of colon and rectal cancer in both women and men, and insulin therapy for diabetes may increase this risk.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Qing Lan Project and the 7th “Six-Talent-Person-Peak Program,” Jiangsu Province, China. The authors are grateful to Dr. Christopher J. Fleming for his critical review of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lizong Shen.

Additional information

Longying Deng and Zhifu Gui contributed equally to this work.

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Deng, L., Gui, Z., Zhao, L. et al. Diabetes Mellitus and the Incidence of Colorectal Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Dig Dis Sci 57, 1576–1585 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10620-012-2055-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10620-012-2055-1

Keywords

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Risk
  • Meta-analysis