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Self reported non-insulin dependent diabetes, family history, and risk of prevalent colorectal cancer: population based, cross sectional study
  1. M S Sandhu,
  2. R Luben,
  3. K-T Khaw
  1. Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, UK
  1. Dr Sandhu, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Wort's Causeway, Cambridge CB1 8RN (manj.sandhu{at}

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Several studies have shown positive associations between non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM) and incidence of colorectal cancer.1-3 This relation, as well as the marked similarity of dietary and lifestyle risk factors for the two conditions, has led investigators to propose that hyperinsulinaemia may be the underlying link between NIDDM and colorectal cancer.3 It is thought that raised insulin levels, either indirectly or directly, may promote the growth of colorectal tumours.1 3 Thus people with an inherited susceptibility to colorectal cancer and who also have NIDDM may be expected to be at even greater risk of colorectal cancer than from either risk factor alone. One measure of inherited susceptibility is family history of disease—an established risk factor for colorectal cancer.4 5 We therefore examined the relation between NIDDM, family history and risk of prevalent colorectal cancer among middle aged and older British adults using data from a large population based study.

Participants, methods, and results

Participants for this analysis were recruited between 1993 and 1997 as part of the East Anglian component of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC–Norfolk). The detailed …

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  • Funding: the cohort of the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer in Norfolk is supported by grant funding from the Cancer Research Campaign, the Medical Research Council, the Stroke Association, the British Heart Foundation, the Department of Health, the Europe Against Cancer Programme of the Commission of the European Communities and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. MSS is funded by the Medical Research Council.

  • Conflicts of interests: none.