This health problem linked to very high risk of liver cancer

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a recent study published in Hepatology, researchers found that non-alcoholic fatty liver, NAFLD, is linked to a 17-fold increased risk of liver cancer.

The findings underscore the need for improved follow-up of NAFLD patients with the goal of reducing the risk of cancer.

The study is from Karolinska Institutet and elsewhere. One author is Tracey G. Simon.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in Europe and the United States, affecting more than 100 million adults.

A large proportion of patients progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with fibrosis, which in turn can lead to cirrhosis.

There is relatively little research on cancer development with NAFLD, and prior research has some limitations that make it difficult to draw far-reaching conclusions.

In the study, the team examined the risk of cancer in people with NAFLD. They included 8,892 Swedish patients with biopsy-confirmed NAFLD and 39,907 healthy people.

They found people with NAFLD were at a 27% increased risk of any cancer. This risk was to a large extent driven by the 17-fold increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Furthermore, NAFLD was linked to modestly increased rates of pancreatic cancer, kidney/bladder cancer, and melanoma, but no other cancers.

The team says with detailed liver histology data, they were able to quantify the increased risk of cancer associated with NAFLD, particularly liver cancer.

These findings should be used to develop more targeted interventions designed to reduce cancer risk in patients with NAFLD.

They also highlight the need for more personalized strategies to screen for HCC in certain high-risk patients, such as those with NAFLD fibrosis and type 2 diabetes.

If you care about liver health, please read studies about people with diabetes need to prevent this dangerous liver disease and findings of 5 big myths about liver detoxing you should know.

For more information about liver disease prevention and treatment, please see recent studies about oral diseases linked to a 75% increase in liver cancer risk and results showing that a new way to treat chronic liver disease.

Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.