Women's Health

DoD Study Finds That Type 2 Diabetes Increases Breast Cancer Mortality

by U.S. Medicine

May 13, 2018

BETHESDA, MD — Having Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-2) increases mortality risk in breast cancer patients, regardless of whether diabetes was diagnosed before or after breast cancer, according to a recent study.

The report in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention notes that most prior studies of breast cancer survival investigated the effect of preexisting DM-2 without assessing the effect when it was diagnosed in relation to breast cancer.1

To expand understanding of the risks, a study team led by researchers from the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center analyzed DoD cancer registry and medical claims data from 9,398 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1998 and 2007.

The analyses indicated that women with DM-2 diagnosed before breast cancer diagnosis tended to have a higher risk of mortality compared with women without diabetes [HR = 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.95-1.44] after adjustment for potential confounders.

At the same time, patients diagnosed with DM-2 at or after breast cancer diagnosis had increased mortality compared with women without DM-2 (HR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.16-1.66). The similar tendency also was observed among most subgroups when results were stratified by race, menopausal status, obesity, tumor hormone receptor status and stage.

“Using data from a health system that provides universal health care to its beneficiaries, this study showed an increased risk of death associated with DM-2, regardless of whether it was diagnosed before or at/after breast cancer diagnosis, study authors concluded, adding, “These results suggest the potential effects of factors independent of the timing of DM-2 clinical diagnosis on the association of DM-2 with overall survival.”

1Shao S, Gill AA, Zahm SH, Jatoi I, Shriver CD, McGlynn KA, Zhu K. Diabetes and Overall Survival among Breast Cancer Patients in the U.S. Military Health System. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Jan;27(1):50-57. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0439. Epub 2017 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 29097445; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5808886.

Related Articles

Even mild TBI increases veterans’ dementia risk

The risk of dementia is increased even in veterans who suffer mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) without loss of consciousness.

Deep brain simulation extends Parkinson’s survival

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) not only improves motor function in patients with Parkinson’s disease, as demonstrated in earlier studies, it also appears to extend life, according to new VA research.

U.S. Medicine Recommends

More From womens health

Women's Health

Fibromyalgia Presents Differently in Male, Female Veterans

Research on fibromyalgia, a poorly understood, chronically disabling pain syndrome, generally has focused on its clinical presentation and treatment.

Women's Health

Women’s Health Initiative at VA Increases Use of Point of Care Testing

NEW YORK — From 2000 to 2014, the number of women veterans receiving care through the VA doubled. Today, approximately 750,000 women are enrolled in the VHA healthcare system and about half a million use it each year.

Women's Health

Chiropractic Helpful for Female Veterans with Back Pain

SAN DIEGO — A gene variant used to predict Alzheimer’s disease also appears to signal worse psychiatric symptoms in patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a new study reported. The results published... View Article

Women's Health

Mental Health Diagnoses Increase Coronary Artery Disease Risks in Women Veterans

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in the United States.

Women's Health

Advocacy Group Partners with VA to Improve Research on Female Concussions

SAN DIEGO — A gene variant used to predict Alzheimer’s disease also appears to signal worse psychiatric symptoms in patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a new study reported. The results published... View Article

Facebook Comment

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up