A number of possible links between diabetes and cancer have been suggested in recent years. This systematic review looked for observational studies reporting gastric cancer in association with diabetes.
The reviewers extracted data from 21 observational studies found by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and reference lists. They found no statistically significant link between diabetes and gastic cancer. Although they report that women showed a significantly higher risk, the confidence interval was close to the line of “no difference”,
Readers of this paper are advised to consider the following:
- There were important differences between individual studies. The meta-analysis may be invalid.
- Remember that any observed association may be due to a common factor that causes both diabetes and cancer, such as obesity.
- Consider the impact of individual patient characteristics.
Ge Z, Ben Q, Qian J, Wang Y, Li Y. Diabetes mellitus and risk of gastric cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Sep 19.