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Keywords:

  • alcohol;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • hepatocellular carcinogenesis;
  • liver cirrhosis;
  • proportional hazard model

Aim:  Diabetes mellitus (DM) has been reported to increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinogenesis in chronic liver diseases. This study aims to elucidate whether DM is an independent risk factor for the appearance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis.

Methods:  Forty-seven patients with alcoholic cirrhosis were retrospectively observed for a median of 6.8 years. The patients showed a history of heavy alcohol intake of 500 kg or more until the diagnosis of cirrhosis, and no patients had hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B virus DNA measured by nested polymerase chain reaction, or antihepatitis C virus.

Results:  During the observation period, HCC developed in nine patients (19.1%). Cumulative appearance rates of HCC were 10.5%, 23.8% and 33.3% at the end of the fifth, 10th and 15th years, respectively. When they were divided into two groups according to the association of diabetes, carcinogenesis rates in patients with (n = 11) and without (n = 36) DM, cumulative carcinogenesis rates were 32.7% and 3.2% at the end of fifth year, 32.7% and 20.2% at the tenth year, and 66.3% and 20.2% at the 15th year, respectively. Crude carcinogenesis rate in the patient with DM was significantly higher than that of patients without DM (P = 0.0034). Multivariate analysis disclosed a higher age (hazard ratio 28.1, P = 0.007), and association of DM (hazard ratio 21.7, P = 0.006) significantly affected future carcinogenesis rate.

Conclusion:  DM seemed to be an independent risk factor for hepatocarcinogenesis in the cohort study of patients with alcoholic cirrhosis.