Cancer among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A population-based cohort study in northeastern Italy

Andrea Gini, Ettore Bidoli, Loris Zanier, Elena Clagnan, Giorgio Zanette, Michele Gobbato, Paolo De Paoli, Diego Serraino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with an elevated risk of cancer. The aim of this study was to assess cancer risk and survival in individuals with type 2 DM (T2DM) in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. A retrospective population-based cohort study of 32,247 T2DM patients aged 40-84 years was conducted through a record linkage of local healthcare databases and cancer registry for the period 2002-2009. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) and 5-year survival probabilities after T2DM and cancer diagnosis were computed. The SIRs for all cancers (n = 2069) was 1.28 (95%CI: 1.23-1.34). The highest SIRs were observed for cancers of the liver, female genital organs, small intestine, and pancreas. After 3 years from T2DM diagnosis, a reduced risk of prostate cancer (SIR = 0.73, 95%CI: 0.54-0.96) was found in men aged 65-74 years, and a higher risk for breast cancer (SIR = 1.24, 95%CI: 1.00-1.52) was found among T2DM female patients. The overall 5-year survival after T2DM was 88.7%. Furthermore, T2DM appeared to have a negative effect on survival of women with breast cancer. This population-based study confirmed that T2DM patients are at increased risk of several cancers, and of premature death in women with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Cancer
  • Cancer risk
  • Population-based cohort study
  • Record linkage
  • Survival
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology


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