Metabolic Syndrome Increases Primary Liver Cancer Risk

Metabolic syndrome is a significant risk factor for HCC and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

FRIDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Metabolic syndrome is a significant risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), regardless of other major risk factors for HCC and ICC, according to a study published in the August issue of Hepatology.

Tania M. Welzel, M.D., M.H.Sc., from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined the association between metabolic syndrome and the development of hepatic cancers. Between 1993 and 2005, 3,649 individuals with HCC and 743 with ICC were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Medicare database, and compared with a 5 percent sample (195,953 individuals) residing in the same regions as the SEER registries. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and other risk factors for HCC and ICC were compared among individuals who developed hepatic cancer and those who did not.

The investigators found that, compared to the sample population, metabolic syndrome was significantly more common in those who developed HCC and ICC (37.1 and 29.7 percent, respectively, compared to 17 percent). Even after adjusting for other risk factors, metabolic syndrome continued to be significantly associated with increased risk of HCC (odds ratio [OR], 2.13), and ICC (OR, 1.56).

"The results of this population-based study indicate that metabolic syndrome is a significant risk factor for development of both types of primary liver cancer, regardless of the presence of all other major HCC and ICC risk factors," the authors write.

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