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Clinical Correlates Found for Steatohepatosis Progression

Nonalcoholic steatohepatosis progression to hepatocellular cancer more frequent in males

WEDNESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatosis (NASH) who develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are male and have high rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Kohichiroh Yasui, M.D., Ph.D., from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues characterized the clinical features of 87 patients with histologically proven NASH who developed HCC. Participants were mainly male (62 percent) and had an average age of 72 years. Clinical data from patients were collected at the time of HCC diagnosis.

The investigators found that 62 percent of patients were obese (body mass index greater than or equal to 25 kg/m²), 59 percent had diabetes, 28 percent had dyslipidemia, and 55 percent had hypertension. The degree of fibrosis in nontumor liver tissues was stage 1 in 11 percent of patients, stage 2 in 17 percent, stage 3 in 18 percent, and stage 4 (liver cirrhosis) in 51 percent of patients. Cirrhosis prevalence was significantly lower in male patients compared with female patients (33 versus 70 percent).

"NASH patients with HCC were more often men and frequently displayed obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Our results suggest that male patients might develop HCC at a less advanced stage of fibrosis than female patients," the authors write.

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