The study, published in Diabetologia journal, states that a heightened presence of prostasin, a protein found in the blood, can serve as an early indicator of diabetes and cancer risk.
The study, conducted by doctors from Sweden and China, analyzed over two decades of health data from 4,500 adults in the 45-64 year age bracket.
The study analyzed data from a 10-year long study called the Malmo Diet and Cancer Study, which was published in 1993.
Researchers in Sweden and China analysed two decades of health records from more than 4,500 middle-aged adults on the Malmö diet and cancer study.
They found that those with the highest levels of prostasin, a protein that circulates in the blood, were nearly twice as likely to suffer from diabetes and cancer than those with low levels of the protein.
Prostasin's normal function in the body is to regulate blood pressure, blood volume, and suppress the growth of tumours. The study failed to clearly identify whether the increased prostasin levels were the cause of the heightened diabetes and cancer risk.
"Plasma prostasin levels are positively associated with diabetes risk and with cancer mortality risk, especially in individuals with high blood glucose levels, which may shed new light on the relationship between diabetes and cancer."Study excerpt
The study adds that people with the highest amounts of prostasin were nearly 45 percent more likely to die from cancer than those with the lowest prostasin levels.
The study states that prostasin was associated with increased cancer mortality risk and total mortality, and the strength of the association between prostasin and cancer mortality was much stronger in participants with elevated blood sugar levels.
However, it adds that they found no significant link between prostasin and cardiovascular mortality.
The findings could allow for the early detection of diabetes or cancer risk, well in advance, and could potentially save thousands of lives.