Diabetes Increases Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in HCV Patients

HealthDay News — For hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients, diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development and all-cause mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Ting-Shuo Huang, MD, from the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Keelung, Taiwan, and colleagues used data from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to evaluate the effect of DM on the development of HCC and on the transition from HCC to death. Newly diagnosed DM patients with HCV were enrolled and were propensity-score matched with HCV patients without DM (1,686 patients in each cohort).

The researchers found that, compared with the non-DM cohort, the DM cohort had higher cumulative hazards for “start-to-HCC,” “start-to-death,” and “HCC-to-death” transitions. After 10 years of follow-up, the cumulative probability of death with or without HCC was higher in the DM vs non-DM cohort. DM correlated with significantly increased risk for transition from “start-to-HCC,” “start-to-death,” and “HCC-to-death” (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.36, 2.61, and 1.36, respectively). Over time there was a decrease in the effect of liver cirrhosis on “start-to-HCC” and “start-to-death” transitions, especially within two years.

“DM increased the risk of HCC development in HCV-infected patients and the risk of all-cause mortality in patients with or without HCC,” the authors write.

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Huang TS, Lin CL, Shyu YC, et al. Diabetes, hepatocellular carcinoma, and mortality in hepatitis C-infected patients: a population-based cohort study. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016. doi: 10.1111/jgh.13670