(HealthDay News) — Prediabetes is associated with an elevated risk for cancer overall and with increased risks for site-specific cancers, including liver, endometrial and stomach or colorectal cancer, according to a meta-analysis published online in Diabetologia.

Yi Huang, from The First People’s Hospital of Shunde in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the risk for cancer in association with impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance. Sixteen prospective cohort studies were included, with data for 891,426 participants.

Prediabetes correlated with an increased risk for cancer overall (relative risk=1.15), with consistent results across cancer endpoints, age, duration of follow-up and ethnicity. Using different definitions of prediabetes did not significantly alter the risk for cancer. 

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Prediabetes correlated with increased risks for stomach or colorectal, liver, pancreas, breast and endometrial cancers but was not associated with bronchus or lung, prostate, ovary, kidney or bladder cancers in a site-specific analysis. 

Significantly different risks for site-specific cancer were seen, with the highest risks for liver, endometrial and stomach/colorectal cancer.

“These results reaffirm the importance of screening for prediabetes using the American Diabetes Association criteria, with a view to cancer prevention,” the researchers wrote. “This information is important to health professionals and those engaged in the prevention of cancer.”


  1. Huang Y et al. Diabetologia. 2014;doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3361-2.