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      Diabetes and cancer: two diseases with obesity as a common risk factor

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          There is a growing body of evidence to support a connection between diabetes (predominantly type 2), obesity and cancer. Multiple meta-analyses of epidemiological data show that people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing many different types of cancers, along with an increased risk of cancer mortality. Several pathophysiological mechanisms for this relationship have been postulated, including insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia, enhanced inflammatory processes, dysregulation of sex hormone production and hyperglycaemia. In addition to these potential mechanisms, a number of common risk factors, including obesity, may be behind the association between diabetes and cancer. Indeed, obesity is associated with an increased risk of cancer and diabetes. Abdominal adiposity has been shown to play a role in creating a systemic pro-inflammatory environment, which could result in the development of both diabetes and cancer. Here, we examine the relationship between diabetes, obesity and cancer, and investigate the potential underlying causes of increased cancer risk in individuals with diabetes. Current treatment recommendations for reducing the overall disease burden are also explored and possible areas for future research are considered.

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          Cancer-related inflammation.

          The mediators and cellular effectors of inflammation are important constituents of the local environment of tumours. In some types of cancer, inflammatory conditions are present before a malignant change occurs. Conversely, in other types of cancer, an oncogenic change induces an inflammatory microenvironment that promotes the development of tumours. Regardless of its origin, 'smouldering' inflammation in the tumour microenvironment has many tumour-promoting effects. It aids in the proliferation and survival of malignant cells, promotes angiogenesis and metastasis, subverts adaptive immune responses, and alters responses to hormones and chemotherapeutic agents. The molecular pathways of this cancer-related inflammation are now being unravelled, resulting in the identification of new target molecules that could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment.
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            Overweight, obesity, and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of U.S. adults.

            The influence of excess body weight on the risk of death from cancer has not been fully characterized. In a prospectively studied population of more than 900,000 U.S. adults (404,576 men and 495,477 women) who were free of cancer at enrollment in 1982, there were 57,145 deaths from cancer during 16 years of follow-up. We examined the relation in men and women between the body-mass index in 1982 and the risk of death from all cancers and from cancers at individual sites, while controlling for other risk factors in multivariate proportional-hazards models. We calculated the proportion of all deaths from cancer that was attributable to overweight and obesity in the U.S. population on the basis of risk estimates from the current study and national estimates of the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. adult population. The heaviest members of this cohort (those with a body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters] of at least 40) had death rates from all cancers combined that were 52 percent higher (for men) and 62 percent higher (for women) than the rates in men and women of normal weight. For men, the relative risk of death was 1.52 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.13 to 2.05); for women, the relative risk was 1.62 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.40 to 1.87). In both men and women, body-mass index was also significantly associated with higher rates of death due to cancer of the esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and kidney; the same was true for death due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Significant trends of increasing risk with higher body-mass-index values were observed for death from cancers of the stomach and prostate in men and for death from cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, and ovary in women. On the basis of associations observed in this study, we estimate that current patterns of overweight and obesity in the United States could account for 14 percent of all deaths from cancer in men and 20 percent of those in women. Increased body weight was associated with increased death rates for all cancers combined and for cancers at multiple specific sites. Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              Global and regional burden of disease and risk factors, 2001: systematic analysis of population health data.

              Our aim was to calculate the global burden of disease and risk factors for 2001, to examine regional trends from 1990 to 2001, and to provide a starting point for the analysis of the Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP). We calculated mortality, incidence, prevalence, and disability adjusted life years (DALYs) for 136 diseases and injuries, for seven income/geographic country groups. To assess trends, we re-estimated all-cause mortality for 1990 with the same methods as for 2001. We estimated mortality and disease burden attributable to 19 risk factors. About 56 million people died in 2001. Of these, 10.6 million were children, 99% of whom lived in low-and-middle-income countries. More than half of child deaths in 2001 were attributable to acute respiratory infections, measles, diarrhoea, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. The ten leading diseases for global disease burden were perinatal conditions, lower respiratory infections, ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, diarrhoeal diseases, unipolar major depression, malaria, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and tuberculosis. There was a 20% reduction in global disease burden per head due to communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional conditions between 1990 and 2001. Almost half the disease burden in low-and-middle-income countries is now from non-communicable diseases (disease burden per head in Sub-Saharan Africa and the low-and-middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia increased between 1990 and 2001). Undernutrition remains the leading risk factor for health loss. An estimated 45% of global mortality and 36% of global disease burden are attributable to the joint hazardous effects of the 19 risk factors studied. Uncertainty in all-cause mortality estimates ranged from around 1% in high-income countries to 15-20% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Uncertainty was larger for mortality from specific diseases, and for incidence and prevalence of non-fatal outcomes. Despite uncertainties about mortality and burden of disease estimates, our findings suggest that substantial gains in health have been achieved in most populations, countered by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa and setbacks in adult mortality in countries of the former Soviet Union. Our results on major disease, injury, and risk factor causes of loss of health, together with information on the cost-effectiveness of interventions, can assist in accelerating progress towards better health and reducing the persistent differentials in health between poor and rich countries.

                Author and article information

                Diabetes Obes Metab
                Diabetes Obes Metab
                Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                February 2014
                12 June 2013
                : 16
                : 2
                : 97-110
                [1 ]Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, University of Colorado Denver Aurora, CO, USA
                [2 ]Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics New Rochelle, NY, USA
                [3 ]Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver Aurora, CO, USA
                [4 ]Boston University Boston, MA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Satish K. Garg, Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, University of Colorado, Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, Mail Stop A140, P.O. Box 6511, 1775 Aurora Court, Aurora, CO 80045, USA. E-mail: satish.garg@
                © 2013 The Authors. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism published by JohnWiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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