Recent Blog Articles
Back to the future: Psychedelic drugs in psychiatry
Children not yet vaccinated against COVID-19? What to do
HIV rates rising: Could new forms of PrEP help?
Careful! Scary health news can be harmful to your health
Post-pandemic weight loss: There’s an app for that
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia by telemedicine: Is it as good as in-person treatment?
Prediabetes diagnosis as an older adult: What does it really mean?
Is blood sugar monitoring without diabetes worthwhile?
Large review study finds low risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate biopsy
Does exercise help protect against severe COVID-19?
In brief: Cancer protection
The connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease is well documented, if imperfectly understood. One explanation is that high blood sugar affects LDL cholesterol in ways that stir up inflammation, so fat-filled atherosclerotic plaques are more likely to burst and block arteries. Three out of four people with diabetes die from a heart attack or stroke. Diabetes is an even stronger predictor of heart attack than high blood pressure and other well-established risk factors.
The evidence for a connection between diabetes and cancer isn't nearly as strong, but there are hints. People with type 2 diabetes tend to have high insulin levels, and some research suggests that cells bombarded with insulin are more likely to turn cancerous. And early in 2005, Korean researchers published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that the risk of getting cancer and dying from the disease was higher for people with diabetes or with a fasting glucose level greater than 125 mg/dL. The association was particularly strong for pancreatic cancer.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.