Metabolic syndrome and primary liver cancer

Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of both major types of primary liver cancer, according to new research conducted at the National Cancer Institute, Maryland, USA.

Researchers identified individuals diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) in the US population between 1993 and 2005. 

The study included 3649 HCC cases, 743 ICC cases, and 195,953 individuals without cancer (controls). 

Results showed that metabolic syndrome was present in 37% of people who developed HCC, 30% of those who developed ICC and 17% of the controls. Impaired fasting BSL, obesity and hypertension were also more common in those who subsequently developed either HCC or ICC.

Pre-existing metabolic syndrome is associated with a twofold risk for developing HCC, and a 1.56-fold risk for ICC.

Hepatology 2011; 54:463-71