Breast cancer: diabetes tied to higher odds of advanced disease

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  • Women with diabetes mellitus (DM) at breast cancer diagnosis have a more advanced clinical presentation and have a higher risk for breast cancer death than nondiabetic women, despite similar rates of screening mammography.

Why this matters

  • DM may be a risk factor for fatal breast cancer.
  • Women with DM should be considered for more aggressive breast cancer treatment.

Study design

  • This was a retrospective cohort study of 73,170 breast cancer cases from the nationwide Finnish Cancer Registry diagnosed from 1995 to 2013.
  • Information on DM was collected from the national Care Register for Health Care.
  • Funding: Seppo Nieminen's Fund; Tampere University Hospital.

Key results

  • No difference in mammographic screening rate was found between diabetic vs nondiabetic women.
  • Diabetic women were more likely to have locally advanced (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.18-1.35) or metastatic breast cancer (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.44-1.75) than nondiabetic women.
  • Diabetic women had a higher risk for breast cancer death (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.27-1.46) than nondiabetic women.


  • No information on hormone replacement therapy, hormone receptor status, or tumor grade.
  • Retrospective design.