(HealthDay News) — The risk of colorectal cancer is moderately increased in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Dec. 31 in Diabetes Care.

Paul J.H.L. Peeters, of the Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted an observational population-based cohort study in which 300,039 patients, aged 18 years or older, with at least one prescription for an antidiabetic drug, were matched with a comparison cohort of individuals without diabetes. The risk of colorectal cancer associated with type 2 diabetes was assessed.

The researchers found, at a median follow-up of 4.5 years, 2,759 cases of colorectal cancer in patients with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 1.26; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 1.33). No association was found between risk of colorectal cancer and treatment stages for diabetes.

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Risk of colorectal cancer was significantly higher in patients with documented duration of obesity of four to eight years (HR, 1.19; 95 percent CI, 1.06 to 1.34) and longer than eight years (HR, 1.28; 95 percent CI, 1.11 to 1.49).

“In summary, we observed a moderate, yet (1.3-fold) significantly increased, risk of colorectal cancer in patients treated for type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

One author conducts research coordinated by an institution that receives funding partly from pharmaceutical companies.


  1. Peeters, PJHL, et al.Diabetes Care, December, 2014; doi:10.2337/dc14-1175