Glucose tolerance status and 20 year cancer incidence

Rachel Dankner*, Angela Chetrit, Pesach Segal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Type 2 diabetes, an extreme state of glucose intolerance, has been found to be associated with cancer mortality; less is known about impaired glucose tolerance and cancer incidence. Objectives: To examine the association between fasting and post-load plasma glucose and insulin, and the 20 year incidence of cancer. Methods: We followed a sample of the Jewish Israeli population (n=2780). free of cancer at baseline, from 1977-1980 to 1999 for cancer incidence and mortality. Baseline fasting and 1 and 2 hour post-load plasma glucose levels were recorded, as was insulin, in 1797 of them. Results: During 20 years, 329 individuals (11.8%) developed cancer. Cancer Incidence for all sites differed between men and women (13.0% and 10.7%, P=0.03), and among different glucose tolerance status groups (P=0.01). Cancer incidence hazard ratio, by glucose status adjusted for gender, age, ethnicity, smoking and body mass index, was 1.24 (95%CI 0.96-1.62, P=0.10) for impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, and 1.32 (95%CI 0.96-1.81, P=0.09) for type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared with those who were normoglycemic at baseline. Fasting insulin and cancer incidence were not associated. Conclusions: An increased long-term cancer risk for individuals with impaired fasting glucose or glucose tolerance, or diabetes, is suggested. Even this modest association could have substantial public health consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-596
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Cancer
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Incidence
  • Type 2 diabetes


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