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Background: We investigated whether associations between prevalent diabetes and cancer risk are pertinent to older adults and whether associations differ across subgroups of age, body weight status or levels of physical activity. Methods: We harmonised data from seven prospective cohort studies of older individuals in Europe and the United States participating in the CHANCES consortium. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the associations of prevalent diabetes with cancer risk (all cancers combined, and for colorectum, prostate and breast). We calculated summary risk estimates across cohorts using pooled analysis and random-effects meta-analysis. Results: A total of 667,916 individuals were included with an overall median (P25–P75) age at recruitment of 62.3 (57–67) years. During a median follow-up time of 10.5 years, 114,404 total cancer cases were ascertained. Diabetes was not associated with the risk of all cancers combined (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86–1.04; I = 63.3%). Diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk in men (HR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.08–1.26; I = 0%) and a similar HR in women (1.13; 95% CI: 0.82–1.56; I = 46%), but with a confidence interval including the null. Diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk (HR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.77–0.85; I = 0%), but not with postmenopausal breast cancer (HR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.89–1.03; I = 0%). In exploratory subgroup analyses, diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk only in men with overweight or obesity. Conclusions: Prevalent diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk and inversely associated with prostate cancer risk in older Europeans and Americans. 2 2 2 2 2

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Journal article


British Journal of Cancer

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