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Risk of 16 cancers across the full glycemic spectrum: a population-based cohort study using the UK Biobank

Rentsch, CT; Farmer, RE; Eastwood, SV; Mathur, R; Garfield, V; Farmaki, A-E; Bhaskaran, K; ... Smeeth, L; + view all (2020) Risk of 16 cancers across the full glycemic spectrum: a population-based cohort study using the UK Biobank. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care , 8 (1) 10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001600. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Diabetes is observed to increase cancer risk, leading to hypothesized direct effects of either hyperglycemia or medication. We investigated associations between glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) across the whole glycemic spectrum and incidence of 16 cancers in a population sample with comprehensive adjustment for risk factors and medication. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Linked data from the UK Biobank and UK cancer registry for all individuals with baseline HbA1c and no history of cancer at enrollment were used. Incident cancer was based on International Classification of Diseases - 10th Edition diagnostic codes. Age-standardized incidence rates were estimated by HbA1c category. Associations between HbA1c, modeled as a restricted cubic spline, and cancer risk were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. RESULTS: Among 378 253 individuals with average follow-up of 7.1 years, 21 172 incident cancers occurred. While incidence for many of the 16 cancers was associated with hyperglycemia in crude analyses, these associations disappeared after multivariable adjustment, except for pancreatic cancer (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.98 for 55 vs 35 mmol/mol), and a novel finding of an inverse association between HbA1c and premenopausal breast cancer (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.60 for 25 vs 35 mmol/mol; HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.94 for 45 vs 35 mmol/mol), not observed for postmenopausal breast cancer. Adjustment for diabetes medications had no appreciable impact on HRs for cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Apart from pancreatic cancer, we did not demonstrate any independent positive association between HbA1c and cancer risk. These findings suggest that the potential for a cancer-inducing, direct effect of hyperglycemia may be misplaced.

Type: Article
Title: Risk of 16 cancers across the full glycemic spectrum: a population-based cohort study using the UK Biobank
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001600
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001600
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: cohort studies, epidemiology, glycated hemoglobin A, hyperglycemia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109048
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