Another study, also scheduled for presentation at the AACR meeting, linked metabolic syndrome to an increased risk of liver cancer. Someone with metabolic syndrome has three or more of the following conditions: high blood pressure, elevated waist circumference, high triglycerides, increased fasting blood sugar levels and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
People with this condition are known to have an increased risk of heart disease, but the current study, which analyzed more than 4,000 people with liver cancer and compared them to nearly 200,000 people without cancer, found that people with metabolic syndrome were even more likely to develop liver cancer.
The study found that 37.1 percent of people with a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma had metabolic syndrome, while only 17.1 percent of those without liver cancer had metabolic syndrome. Nearly 30 percent of people with another type of liver cancer called intrahepatic carcinoma had metabolic syndrome.
Learn more about steps you can take to help prevent cancer from the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
SOURCES: Gabriel Lai, Ph.D., cancer prevention fellow, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; April 3, 2011 presentation, American Association for Cancer Research, Orlando, Fla.
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