IMAGE: This is V. Wendy Setiawan. view more
Credit: Ricardo Carrasco III
LOS ANGELES – Each year, more than one million Americans are diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes mellitus, also known as type 2 diabetes. The new diagnosis comes with a long list of potential complications: high blood pressure, nerve damage, kidney disease, stroke, glaucoma and more. But for African-Americans and Latinos, a diagnosis of diabetes after age 50 may also come with a more than threefold risk for developing pancreatic cancer, according to a new study led by the Keck School of Medicine of USC published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
“There are very few studies on diabetes and pancreatic cancer that include Latinos and African-Americans,” says the study’s lead author V. Wendy Setiawan, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. “Both groups have a high rate of diabetes, and African-Americans, in particular, have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer relative to other racial/ethnic groups. 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.”
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