The current epidemiologic evidence suggests that men with type 2 diabetes mellitus may be at lower risk of developing prostate cancer, but little is known about its association with stage and grade of the disease. The association between self-reported diabetes mellitus at recruitment and risk of prostate cancer was examined in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Among 139,131 eligible men, 4,531 were diagnosed with prostate cancer over an average follow-up of 12 years. Multivariable hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models stratified by EPIC-participating center and age at recruitment, and adjusted for education, smoking status, body mass index, waist circumference, and physical activity. In a subset of men without prostate cancer, the cross-sectional association between circulating concentrations of androgens and insulin-like growth factor proteins with diabetes status was also investigated using linear regression models. Compared to men with no diabetes, men with diabetes had a 26% lower risk of prostate cancer (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63-0.86). There was no evidence that the association differed by stage (p-heterogeneity, 0.19) or grade (p-heterogeneity, 0.48) of the disease, although the numbers were small in some disease subgroups. In a subset of 626 men with hormone measurements, circulating concentrations of androstenedione, total testosterone and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-three were lower in men with diabetes compared to men without diabetes. This large European study has confirmed an inverse association between self-reported diabetes mellitus and subsequent risk of prostate cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date





372 - 381


androgens, cohort study, insulin-like growth factor proteins, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, Adult, Aged, Androgens, Body Mass Index, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Europe, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Incidence, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Grading, Neoplasm Staging, Nutritional Status, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Prostatic Neoplasms, Risk Factors, Testosterone