Abdominal fat linked to liver cancer
The amount of fat accumulated around internal abdominal organs affects the likelihood of recurrence of liver cancer following treatment.
Past studies have proved that visceral fat accumulation increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development in patients with chronic liver disease. Researchers studied 62 Japanese patients who had undergone treatment for liver cancer to find out whether visceral fat accumulation increases the risk of HCC recurrence after treatment in patients with suspected non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH). Out of 62 patients, 27 were classified as having high amounts of visceral fat while other 35 had smaller amounts.
After a year, the recurrence rate was 16 percent in the high visceral fat group compared with 10 percent in the other patients. After 2 years, the corresponding rates were 56 percent and 31 percent and, after 3 years, they were 75 percent and 43 percent respectively.
During the observation period, there were 14 deaths, 9 of which were due to progression of liver cancer. However, there was no significant difference in survival between those with high amounts of abdominal fat and those with small amounts.
The researchers concluded that visceral fat is an independent risk factor of HCC recurrence after treatment in patients with suspected NASH.
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