Cirrhosis and liver cancer risk higher in people with type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes should receive regular monitoring of liver function, as they could be at risk of developing life-threatening cirrhosis and liver cancer.
This was one of the conclusions of a very large study of 82 million adults living in Europe.
Another finding was that for many people who develop cirrhosis and liver cancer, it seems that the conditions are already at an advanced stage at the time of diagnosis.
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Glasgow, both in the United Kingdom, led the study.
They report their results in a paper that now appears in the journal BMC Medicine.
The purpose of the investigation was to estimate the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or steatohepatitis (NASH).
NAFLD is a major cause of liver disease worldwide. Its global prevalence has risen from 15% to 25% in the decade leading up to 2010 and parallels the rising tide of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
For many people with NAFLD, the condition does little harm. However, some with NAFLD will go on to develop the much more aggressive form, NASH, which damages the liver and can lead to cancer.