Women whose blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for diabetes, have an increased risk of cancer, according to Swedish researchers.
A major study found a link between high fasting glucose levels and pancreatic, breast, and endometrial cancers, and a two-fold increase in the risk of malignant melanoma.
However, the findings did not show an association between high glucose levels and total cancer risk in men.
The study involved 64,500 patients who were initially assessed at the age of 40, 50 or 60 in the mid-1980s, and then followed up till the present day.
Lead author Dr Par Stattin, from Umea University Hospital in Sweden, said: 'A lifestyle that decreases plasma glucose levels may reduce overall cancer risk, not only among overweight or obese subjects, but most likely among subjects with normal body weight.'
He suggested the lack of an association for men was due to the fact that high glucose levels were linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.
Diabetes Care (2007) www.care.diabetesjournals.org