Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Death Risk Up in Hepatitis C With Diabetes

HealthDay News — For hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients, diabetes 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 diabetes on the development of HCC and on the transition from HCC to death. Newly diagnosed diabetes patients with HCV were enrolled and were propensity-score matched with HCV patients without diabetes (1686 patients in each cohort).

The researchers found that, compared with the non-diabetes cohort, the diabetes 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 diabetes vs non-diabetes cohort. Diabetes 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 2 years.

“Diabetes increased the risk of HCC development in HCV-infected patients and the risk of all-cause mortality in patients with or without HCC,” the researchers wrote.

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  1. Huang T-S, Lin C-L, Shyu Y-C, et al. Diabetes, hepatocellular carcinoma, and mortality in hepatitis C-infected patients: a population-based cohort study [published online December 8, 2016]. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. doi:10.1111/jgh.13670.