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Diabetes has been associated with a wide range of cancers but uncertainty remains regarding the magnitude of such associations and the extent to which they are likely to be causal. In particular, it is not clear whether associations of diabetes with specific cancers are largely due to its known relationship with adiposity, or to the direct effects of hyperinsulinaemia, blood glucose levels and/or chronic inflammation on cancer risk. There is also limited evidence on the role of different treatments for diabetes in cancer risk. 


The project will examine the risk of specific cancers in relation to diabetes and the medications used to treat it. Analyses will be based on data from the Million Women Study, which includes 1.3 million UK women and on data from China Kadoorie Biobank, which includes 500,000 men and women in China. There is information on self-reported treatment for diabetes, hospital diagnosis of diabetes and prescriptions in both studies, as well as information on many potential confounders. In addition, China Kadoorie Biobank has information on genetic determinants of diabetes and blood-based markers such as insulin.  Participants in both studies have been followed for many years for cancer incidence, hospital admissions and deaths. 


Training will be provided within the department on data analysis and statistical methods and, if necessary, by external courses.


Candidates should have a strong background in epidemiology or statistics or a closely related subject. This project would particularly suit someone with a clinical background.



  • Gill Reeves
    Gill Reeves

    Valerie Beral Professor of Epidemiology and Director, Cancer Epidemiology Unit