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Diabetes linked to blood cancer

More cases of blood cancers classified as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) seem to occur among people with diabetes than those without it.

Diabetes linked to blood cancer

More cases of blood cancers classified as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) seem to occur among people with diabetes than those without it. Also called lymphosarcoma, NHL is a disease that originates in one type of lymph tissue – either in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow or any of the other tissues. In NHL, a certain type of white blood cell is affected. These could be the cells that make defending proteins, or those that have natural killing properties. The disease is classified on the basis of how fast it grows. To examine the association between diabetes and risk of developing NHL, researchers from America analysed 15 observational studies done in the past on diabetes and NHL link. Combined data from all the studies showed that the likelihood of developing NHL was around 20 percent higher for those with diabetes than for comparison groups without diabetes. Although the relative risk is moderate, given the rapidly increasing incidence and prevalence of diabetes, the number of incident cases of NHL attributed to diabetes can potentially be very high, the researchers noted. The researchers pointed out that the incidence of NHL has increased since 1950 and they think the immune changes associated with diabetes may account for the increased risk of NHL that was found in this study.
Diabetes Care
December 2008
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