Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinicopathological and prognostic features of operable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods: A total of 1231 surgically resected NSCLC patients were retrospectively reviewed. Clinicopathological characteristics were compared between patients with DM (DM group, n = 139) and those without DM (non-DM group, n = 1092). The clinical factors associated with postoperative complications and prognostic factors were identified. Results: The DM group had distinct clinicopathological features. No significant differences in histological invasiveness or stage were found. The presence and control status of DM were independent predictors of postoperative complications. No significant differences in recurrence-free survival or cancer-specific survival were observed; however, the DM group had worse overall survival (OS). The DM group had a higher number of deaths from other diseases than the non-DM group, and these patients had significantly higher postoperative hemoglobin A1c levels than patients with cancer-related death. Conclusion: The presence and control status of preoperative DM are useful predictors of both postoperative complications and OS in operable NSCLC patients. Concomitant diabetes-related complications have a negative effect on long-term survival in diabetic NSCLC patients, and long-term glycemic control is important to prolong OS.
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