Association of Serum C-Peptide Concentrations with Cancer Mortality Risk in Pre-Diabetes or Undiagnosed Diabetes

Hsu, Chih-Neng; Chang, Chia-Hsuin; Lin, Yu-Sheng; Lin, Jou-Wei; Caffrey, James L.
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Known associations between diabetes and cancer could logically be attributed to hyperglycemia, hypersecretion of insulin, and/or insulin resistance. This study examined the relationship between initial glycemic biomarkers among men and women with impaired fasting glucose or undiagnosed diabetes and cancer mortality during follow up. Methods: The cohort included subjects aged 40 years and above from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) with fasted serum glucose >100 mg/dl without the aid of pharmaceutical intervention (insulin or oral hypoglycemics). Cancer mortality was obtained from the NHANES III-linked follow-up database (up to December 31, 2006). A Cox regression model was applied to test for the associations between cancer mortality and fasting serum glucose, insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), C-peptide, insulin like growth factor (IGF-1), IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) and estimated insulin resistance. Results: A total of 158 and 100 cancer deaths were recorded respectively from 1,348 men and 1,161 women during the mean 134-month follow-up. After adjusting for the effect of age and smoking in women, all-cause cancer deaths (HR: 1.96 per pmol/ml, 95% CI: 1.02–3.77) and lung cancer deaths (HR: 2.65 per pmol/ml, 95% CI: 1.31–5.36) were specifically associated with serum C-peptide concentrations. Similar associations in men were not statistically significant. Serum glucose, HbA1c, IGF-1, IGFBP3 and HOMA were not independently related to long-term cancer mortality. Conclusion: C-peptide analyses suggest a modest association with both all-cause and lung cancer mortality in women but not in men. Further studies will be required to explore the mechanisms.


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