Islamabad: A new study begins to shed light on this surprising link. Could it be, the researchers ask, that brain tumors have a strong effect on blood glucose levels?
Co-lead author Judith Schwartzbaum, associate professor of epidemiology at OSU, says, “Diabetes and elevated blood sugar increase the risk of cancer at several sites including the colon, breast, and bladder.”
However, this is not the case with brain cancer such as glioma, she adds. Instead, “these rare malignant brain tumors are more common among people who have normal levels of blood glucose than those with high blood sugar or diabetes.”
The new study builds on previous work led by Prof. Schwartzbaum that found a link between high blood sugar and reduced risk of meningioma – a nonmalignant brain tumor.
Glioma is one of the most common cancers that arise in the brain. It accounts for nearly a quarter of all primary brain tumors and three quarters of all malignant tumors.
Also, as symptoms typically occur only 3 months prior to diagnosis, the authors note that “it is therefore important that indicators of the preclinical tumor be identified before the onset of symptoms.”
The new study examines data from two large long-term investigations: AMORIS and Me-Can, which together totaled 797,945 participants among whom 812 developed gliomas.
The team analyzed the data on blood sugar levels and diabetes – including that related to the period preceding diagnosis – and how this related to subsequent diagnosis of glioma.