Type 2 diabetes linked with up to 3 times increased liver cancer risk

Wed, 11 Dec 2013
Type 2 diabetes represents an increased risk of a type of liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatoma or HCC.

Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California reviewed data from the Multiethnic Cohort Study which included over 150,000 medical records. The clinical study enrolled participants between 1993 and 1996 and included a follow up after 15 years.

The research found that patients with type 2 diabetes have a 2 to 3 times higher risk for hepatocellular carcinoma than those without the condition. The study also found increased risks amongst a number of different ethnic groups. Notably, Latin Americans had a 2.8 times greater risk of HCC compared with non-hispanic caucasians and African Americans had 2.2 times increase in risk.

The biggest risk factor for hepatoma is having fatty liver disease, a health complication more commonly found in people with type 2 diabetes. Increased risks of HCC have previously been found in people of Latin, African and Asian origin and this form of liver cancer is between 4 and 8 times more common in men.

The researchers stress that HCC is a rarer form of cancer and affects around 4 in every 100,000 people in the UK. However, cases of this form of cancer are on the increase and have trebled within the last three decades.
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