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Type 2 diabetes may be an indication of pancreatic cancer

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SAN FRANCISCO — People who develop Type 2 diabetes after 60 are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, according to a study by US researchers.

The new study by the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Sunday.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers, with a five-year survival rate of only 8 percent because majority pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage.

The researchers studied the data of about 49,000 African-Americans and Latinos, two ethnic groups with a high rate of diabetes, and concluded that people diagnosed with diabetes between the ages of 65 and 85 were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer within three years as compared with people without diabetes.

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According to the study, latinos were fourfold more likely to develop pancreatic cancer within three years of a diabetes diagnosis, and African-Americans three times more likely.

“Because most people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed at a late stage, the five-year survival rate is low — about 8 percent. Identifying people who are at high risk early on could potentially save their lives,” said V Wendy Setiawan, associate professor of preventive medicine at Keck and lead author of the research.

The diagnosis of late-onset diabetes may offer an opportunity to screen high-risk groups with new tools such as liquid biopsy, a test that looks for cancer cells or DNA from cancer cells in the blood, Setiawan said.

With Agency Inputs

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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk

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A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.

According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.

The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.

Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.

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“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.

Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.

Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.

Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.

With Inputs from HealthDay

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