SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

March 29, 2010 00:01 ET

Diabetes Raises Risk for Post-Surgical Mortality in Cancer Patients

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - March 29, 2010) -  Undergoing surgical cancer treatment holds greater risk for people who also have diabetes than it does for people who just have cancer, according to a study being published this month in Diabetes Care.

The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, found that people who have both diabetes and cancer are 50 percent more likely to die following surgery than people who don't have diabetes.

"We already know that diabetes appears to increase the risk for some cancers," said Dr. Hsin-Chieh Yeh, one of the lead researchers in the study. "This study shows that having pre-existing diabetes also increases the chance of postoperative mortality in newly diagnosed cancer patients. Although we don't yet know the specific mechanism in cancer patients, diabetes has been shown to increase the risk of infection and cardiovascular and renal complications after surgery in the general population."

The study, a meta-analysis, showed postoperative mortality was higher across a range of cancer surgeries and types of cancer, particularly in cancers of the colon and esophagus. The researchers concluded that further research was called for into whether improvements in perioperative diabetes care could reduce the excess risk in mortality.

"Care of diabetes before, during and after surgery is very important," Dr. Yeh said. "It should be part of the preoperative discussion."

To reach Hsin-Chieh Yeh, PhD, Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University, phone: 410-614-4316 or email:

Diabetes Care, published by the American Diabetes Association, is the leading peer-reviewed journal of clinical research into one of the nation's leading causes of death by disease. Diabetes also is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, as well as the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure, and non-traumatic amputations.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Dayle Kern, ADA
    (703) 549-1500 ext. 2290