People with type 2 diabetes must be regularly monitoring the state of the liver, as they may be at increased risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer. According to a major study, in which more than 82 million people with type 2 diabetes may be an independent risk factor for some severe liver disease. The work is published in BMC Medicine.
The aim of the study was to assess the risk of cirrhosis and cancer in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or steatohepatitis (NASH).
NAFLD is a major cause of liver disease. Over the last decade, cases have increased from 15% to 25%. Some patients with NAFLD may develop a much more aggressive form of NASH, which damages the liver and can lead to tumors.
Because people with NAFLD or NASH is at risk of life-threatening conditions, diagnoses must be set in advance. Thus, doctors can quickly offer an effective treatment.
Senior study author William Alazavi and other researchers were surprised to find a much lower prevalence of diagnosed NAFLD than they anticipated, analyzed 82 million e-health cards.
"Even in the short time of the study have been observed in some more recent, life-threatening stage of the disease," - said Alazavi. According to the American Liver Foundation, the US NAFLD affects about 100 million people. NASH is a more severe form of NAFLD that can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and cancer.
Approximately 1 in 6 people with NAFLD develop NASH, which often develops between the ages of 40-60 years of age and is more common in women. Often people with NASH live with the disease for many years before the diagnosis of the time.
For its analysis, Dr. Alazavi and his colleagues used electronic medical records of patients from Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. Among them, they identified 136,703 people in the records which had a diagnosis of NAFLD or NASH. Analysis showed that people diagnosed with NASH or NAFLD high blood pressure is observed more frequently, obesity and type 2 diabetes as compared to control groups. During a mean follow-team noted in some people developed cirrhosis and liver cancer.
The analysis showed that, compared with the control group the risk of subsequent diagnosis of cirrhosis was 4.73 times higher in patients with NAFLD or NASH. risk was 3.51 times higher for the diagnosis of liver cancer. The analysis also showed that people with NAFLD or NASH put diagnoses more severe and life-threatening liver condition for several years.
The researchers note that this timeline does not reflect the longer time required for NAFLD or NASH switched to progressive liver disease. It is assumed that some people diagnosed with NAFLD or NASH, when their liver is at a late stage of the disease.