Patients with diabetes who undergo cancer surgery are approximately 50% more likely to die shortly after the operation than non-diabetics.

This additional risk was present across a range of cancers and surgical treatments for the disease, according to a meta-analysis of 15 published studies that included information on short-term (30-day and hospital) postoperative mortality after initial cancer surgery.

Study sample sizes ranged from 70 to 32,621 subjects. The heightened mortality risk may be at least partially attributable to the higher infection and cardiovascular disease rates associated with diabetes. Findings appear in Diabetes Care (2010;33:931-939)

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