The aim of this study was to characterize the role of glycemic control and weight change as markers for pancreatic cancer (PaC) in patients with long-standing diabetes.
We conducted case-control analyses in patients with long-standing diabetes (>2 years) in the United Kingdom–based Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Cases were patients with PaC matched to control subjects on variables including age, sex, and diabetes duration. We compared glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, blood glucose levels, and weight change before cancer detection (matched date) between cases and control subjects to assess associations between the potential markers and PaC.
Cases were more likely than control subjects to have high HbA1c levels. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 4.94 (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.52–6.94) for HbA1c of 64.0 mmol/mol or greater compared with HbA1c of 47.5 mmol/mol or less within 6 months before cancer detection and within >1 to 2 years, 2.66 (95% CI, 2.00–3.54). Weight loss was also more common in cases, with an aOR of 15.40 (95% CI, 10.65–22.26) for loss of 15.0% body weight or greater compared with stable weight. The aOR for patients with both weight loss of 15.0% or greater and high HbA1c at 2 years or less before diagnosis was 60.97 (95% CI, 35.87–103.65), compared with patients with neither.
Poor glycemic control and weight loss, particularly in combination, may be useful early markers for PaC in patients with long-standing diabetes.