Insulin therapy may boost death risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients

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By Jimmy Downs

Sunday Jan 13, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- Using insulin may increase risk of overall mortality and cancer death in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a new study in PLoS One.

Y. Gu from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and colleagues conducted the study and found type 2 diabetics using insulin were 89 percent more likely to die from all causes and 116 percent more likely to die from cancer, compared with nonusers.

The finding was based on data from 8,774 insulin-naïve diabetes patients from the Shanghai Diabetes Registry of whom, 3639 were using insulin and 5135 were not. 

Overall, insulin users did not increase cancer risk in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.  The cancer incidence rates were 78.6 and 74.3 per 10,000 patients per year in insulin users and nonusers, respectively.

However, the risk of liver cancer was found 184% higher in diabetics who used insulin, compared with type 2 diabetes patients who did not use insulin.

Those who used insulin were at 89% increased risk of total mortality and 116% increased risk of dying from cancer, compared with non-users.

The researchers concluded "There was no excess risk of overall cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated with human insulin. However, a significantly higher risk of liver cancer was found in these patients. Moreover, insulin users showed higher risks of overall and cancer mortality."

Diabetes type 2 can be easily prevented by following a healthy diet.  It has been demonstrated that Cinnamon and curcumin can effectively prevent the disease.  Probiotic and prebiotics can be used to treat type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus type 2 affects an estimated 25 million Americans.  Doctors say there is no cure for the disease, but high blood sugar, which is caused by the disease can be controlled using insulin in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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