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Metabolic syndrome a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma in HBV patients

21 Jan 2020

Metabolic syndrome (MS) and its components contribute to an increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in individuals with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, a study has found.

The study included 6,564 patients (mean age, 45.4 years; 67.9 percent male) with HBV infection in mainland China. Of these, 780 had cirrhosis (11.9 percent), 400 had diabetes (6.1 percent) and 756 had MS (11.5 percent).

Eighty-nine patients developed HCC during 45,668.0 person years of follow-up (mean, 76.0 months each). MS as a whole was associated with a twofold higher risk of HCC (hazard ratio [HR], 2.25, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.41–3.60) in multivariable Cox regression models adjusted for age (in 1-year increments), gender, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, liver cirrhosis and elevated aspartate aminotransferase levels (≥40 U/L).

Meanwhile, the risk estimates for HCC in patients with 3 or 1–2 MS factors were 2.12 (95 percent CI, 1.16–3.89) and 1.28 (95 percent CI, 0.74–2.22), respectively, relative to those without any metabolic factors.

Central obesity and type 2 diabetes were also associated with a significant increase in HCC risk, although this association was not observed in obese patients (body mass index, ≥30 kg/m2).

The findings suggest that MS is a feasible and sensitive predictor of HCC, given its higher prevalence over diabetes in the Chinese population with HBV infections, according to researchers. This underscores a need for better management of metabolic factors and unhealthy lifestyles, including weight reduction and cigarette cessation/alcohol abstinence.

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Tristan Manalac, 6 days ago
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