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June 26, 1948

Current Comment

JAMA. 1948;137(9):791-792. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890430033012

CANCER IN DIABETIC PERSONS  Review of the literature having indicated an apparent association between cancer and diabetes mellitus, Jacobson1 made a statistical study to determine this point. Recent reports by Marble,2 Ellinger and Landsman3 were in definite agreement that clinically physicians are concerned with diabetic patients in whom cancer later develops, rather than a group of patients with malignant disease in whom diabetes develops. As relative duration of diabetes is much longer, this appears to be a reasonable conclusion. The subject was attacked in two phases—mortality data from the "universe of dead persons" and morbidity data from the "universe of living persons." Mortality data for analysis were relatively easy to obtain. Of all deaths in the United States in 1940, 11.17 per cent were attributed to cancer. This factor is changed in the "universe of living persons," in that cancer is reported to have caused the deaths