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Metabolic syndrome shown to increase liver cancer risk

Category: Liver

Individuals who have metabolic syndrome may benefit from regular liver testing, as a new study has shown that the condition increases the risk of liver cancer dramatically.

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions that includes high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood sugar, low HDL or "good" cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and a large waistline. Doctors have long known that the condition increases an individual's risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, but the finding that it also affects liver cancer risk is relatively new.

For the study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute compared the medical records of a group of patients with one of two forms of liver cancer to data collected from a group of healthy individuals.

The results showed that while 37.1 percent of hepatocellular carcinoma patients and 29.7 percent of intraheptic carcinoma patients had preexisting metabolic syndrome, only 17.1 percent of the healthy participants had the condition.

The researchers said that liver cancer has a low survival rate, making preventing the condition through resolution of metabolic syndrome and regular liver testing important.

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