Enlarge / Ozempic is a GLP-1 drug for adults with type 2 diabetes. (credit: Getty | Steve Christo)

For patients with type 2 diabetes, taking one of the new GLP-1 drugs, such as Ozempic, is associated with lower risks of developing 10 out of 13 obesity-associated cancers as compared with taking insulin, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.

The study was retrospective, capturing data from over 1.6 million patients with type 2 diabetes but no history of obesity-associated cancers prior to the study period. Using electronic health records, researchers had follow-up data for up to 15 years after the patients started taking either a GLP-1 drug, insulin, or metformin between 2008 and 2015.

This type of study can’t prove that the GLP-1 drugs caused the lower associated risks, but the results fit with some earlier findings. That includes results from one trial that found a 32 percent overall lower risk of obesity-associated cancers following bariatric surgery for weight loss.

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