Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Using data from the China Kadoorie Biobank Study, we conducted a prospective investigation on the association between type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cancer risk in Chinese adults. A total of 508,892 participants (mean age = 51.5 (standard deviation, 10.7) years) without prior cancer diagnosis at baseline (2004-2008) were included. We documented 17,463 incident cancer cases during follow-up through December 31, 2013. Participants with T2DM had increased risks of total and certain site-specific cancers; hazard ratios were 1.13 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07, 1.19) for total cancer, 1.51 (95% CI: 1.29, 1.76) for liver cancer, 1.86 (95% CI: 1.43, 2.41) for pancreatic cancer, and 1.21 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.47) for female breast cancer. The associations were largely consistent when physician-diagnosed and screen-detected T2DM were analyzed separately, except for colorectal cancer (for physician-diagnosed T2DM, HR = 0.91 (95% CI: 0.73, 1.13), and for screen-detected T2DM, HR = 1.44 (95% CI: 1.18, 1.77)). In participants without a prior diagnosis of T2DM, higher random blood glucose levels were positively associated with risks of total cancer, liver cancer, and female breast cancer (all P's for trend ≤ 0.02). In conclusion, T2DM is associated with an increased risk of new-onset cancer in China, particularly cancers of the liver, pancreas, and female breast.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Epidemiol

Publication Date





1380 - 1391


Adult, Blood Glucose, Breast Neoplasms, China, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Humans, Incidence, Liver Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Proportional Hazards Models, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors