In a surprise finding, scientists have found that high blood sugar, particularly in women, actually meant the person was less likely to face a brain tumour diagnosis. It reduces the risk of benign brain tumours that have previously been tied to obesity and diabetes.
The finding also shed light on development of meningiomas, tumours arising from the brain and spinal cord that are usually not cancerous but that can require risky surgery, researchers quoted in their study.
Researchers led by Judith Schwartzbaum from Ohio State University in the US look for a relationship between meningiomas and blood markers, including glucose.
Since previous research had established that the slow-growing tumours are more common among people who are obese and those who have diabetes, scientists tried to find the reason of deadly tumours.
High blood sugar is a component of diabetes and a precursor to its development. Type 2 diabetes and obesity are closely linked, researchers said. However, when they compared blood tests in a group of more than 41,000 Swedes with meningioma diagnoses 15 or fewer years later, they found that high blood sugar, particularly in women, actually meant the person was less likely to face a brain tumour diagnosis.
"It's so unexpected. Usually diabetes and high blood sugar raises the risk of cancer, and it's the opposite here," said Schwartzbaum. "It should lead to a better understanding of what's causing these tumours and what can be done to prevent them," she said.