Washington D.C.: High blood sugar may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, a new study has found.
The disease stops the work of healthy cells in the pancreas and aids their out-of-control growth.
The findings of the Korea-based study were published in the 'Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism'.
The five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is only nine percent because the disease is so difficult to diagnose and is often not found until later stages when the cancer has spread from the pancreas to other parts of the body, the research suggests.
"Diabetes is one of the major risk factors for pancreatic cancer," said the study's corresponding author, Cheol-Young Park of Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul.
"When we evaluated the pancreatic cancer incidence according to fasting glucose levels using a national cohort database, we found the number of pancreatic cancer cases rose as fasting glucose levels increased. This was true in people who had diabetes as well as those who did not," said Park.
In this study, researchers evaluated pancreatic cancer incidence in Korea according to blood sugar levels using a national cohort database of more than 25 million patients. They found that as blood sugar level rises, the rate of pancreatic cancer significantly increases not only in diabetic population but also in those with prediabetes or normal range of blood sugar levels.
Park said, "Our research implies that early detection of hyperglycemia in health checkups and lifestyle modification to improve glucose profile might offer a critical opportunity for lowering the risk of pancreatic cancer."