While the new study found an association with overweight, heavy drinking and liver disease in women, it didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
The second study, also presented at the International Liver Congress, looked at the risk of liver cancer in 100 patients who underwent liver transplants because they had alcoholic end-stage liver disease.
Liver cancer occurred in 54 percent of patients who had been frequently overweight and in 43 percent of those with diabetes, compared with 14 percent of those who were not overweight and 22 percent of those without diabetes, the investigators found.
Fifty percent of patients who had fatty liver disease and were overweight, obese or had type 2 diabetes had liver cancer, compared with 6 percent of those without these conditions.
"These findings show patients suffering from alcoholic cirrhosis who also have a history of fatty liver disease, obesity or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing liver cancer," Prati said. "The results will be useful to improve the management of patients with cirrhosis, and to identify cancer at early stages."
Because the new research was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The American Liver Foundation outlines 25 ways to love your liver.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: European Association for the Study of the Liver, news release, April 25, 2013
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