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Diabetes may increase risk of death following cancer surgery

Category: Diabetes

Diabetes patients who undergo cancer surgery may be at a greater risk of death following the procedure than those not afflicted with the condition, a new study has found.

In a meta-analysis of 15 previously conducted studies involving nearly 40,000 participants, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers found that newly diagnosed cancer patients who also had type 2 diabetes were at a 50 percent increased risk of death following surgery compared to those without diabetes.

Lead author Jessica Yeh, assistant professor of general internal medicine at the university, noted that those with diabetes and colorectal or esophageal tumors were at the greatest risk of dying after surgery.

"When people are diagnosed with cancer, the focus often is exclusively on cancer, and diabetes management may be forgotten," said Yeh. "This research suggests the need to keep a dual focus."

Although Yeh and her colleagues were unable to define the specific factor responsible for the higher mortality rate, they suggested that the close link between diabetes and infection risk may be to blame.

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