Incident cancer risk in patients with incident type 2 diabetes mellitus in Hungary

Zsolt Abonyi-Tóth, György Rokszin, Ibolya Fábián, Zoltán Kiss, György Jermendy, Péter Kempler, Csaba Lengyel, István Wittmann, Gergő A. Molnár and Gábor Sütő (Cancers, doi:


Simple Summary: Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with a higher risk of cancer, possibly in young individuals with diabetes. While the incidence of cancer is mildly decreasing in the background population, it does not decrease in patients with type 2 diabetes. In non-diabetic persons, certain types of cancer also occur in young age, while the 60–69-year-old group dominates for cancer cases in patients with type 2 diabetes. The majority of the new cancer cases is recognized within 6 months after the diagnosis of diabetes. This may call for increased cancer surveillance in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Background: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are at higher risk of cancer but how these two diseases associate is still debated. The goal of this study was the assessment of the overall incidence of cancer among patients with newly diagnosed T2DM in Hungary.

Methods: A nationwide, retrospective, longitudinal study was performed using a Hungarian database. After exclusion of cases of age < 18 years, with gestational diabetes, with polycystic ovary syndrome, and with type 1 and prevalent type 2 diabetes mellitus, the incident T2DM (approx. 50,000 cases yearly) and for comparison, the diabetes-free Hungarian adult population (approx. 7,000,000 cases yearly) was included in the study. The primary endpoints were the overall and site-specifc incidence and annual percentage change of the incidence of cancer in both populations.

Results: The overall incidence of cancer in patients amounted to 29.4/1000 and 6.6/1000 with or without T2DM, respectively, and the OR (95%CI) of cancer of the T2DM group was 4.32 (4.14–4.53), p < 0.0001. The risk of having cancer was age dependent. The incidence of cancer was declining in the non-diabetic but was unchanged in the T2DM population. The average lag time of diagnosing cancer after the detection of T2DM was 3.86 months.

Conclusions: Incident T2DM is associated with a significantly higher overall risk of incident cancer, with a reverse correlation of age. Newly registered T2DM patients were suggested to be screened for cancer within 6 months.