Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Association of metabolic traits with occurrence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease-related hepatocellular carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Yancheng First Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School; The First people's Hospital of Yancheng, Yancheng, Jiangsu, China
2 Department of Pathology, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Shanghai, China
3 Department of Gastroenterology, Yancheng TCM Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Yancheng, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence Address:
Xudong Wu,
Department of Gastroenterology, Yancheng First Hospital Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, 166 Yulong West Road, Yancheng 224000, Jiangsu Province
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.sjg_260_21

PMID: 34810377

Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become one of the leading etiologies of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but risk factors for NAFLD-related HCC occurrence have not been defined. NAFLD is often complicated by metabolic abnormalities, and there is a bidirectional association of metabolic abnormalities with NAFLD progression. This study aimed to systematically evaluate the relationship between metabolic traits and HCC occurrence in patients with NAFLD. Method: This study reviewed eight eligible studies that included 297,956 participants, to determine the relationship between metabolic traits and the occurrence of HCC in patients with NAFLD. Results: Presence of diabetes mellitus (DM) was associated with increased risk of HCC (HR: 2.65, 95%CI: 2.02 ~ 3.49, Pheterogeneity = 0.589, I2 = 0.0%). Stratified analysis revealed that this risk was higher in NAFLD patients with advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis (HR: 4.55, 95%CI: 2.34 ~ 8.87, Pheterogeneity = 0.870, I2 = 0.0%). Nonetheless even in patients without cirrhosis, DM remained a high risk factor for HCC incidence (HR: 1.80, 95%CI: 1.05 ~ 3.06, Pheterogeneity = 0.291, I2 = 10.4%). Overweight/obesity had a slight correlation with increased risk of HCC occurrence in NAFLD patients (HR: 1.31, 95%CI: 1.00 ~ 1.71, Pheterogeneity = 0.888, I2 = 0.0%), while presence of hypertension and dyslipidemia had no correlation. Conclusion: DM and overweight/obesity are high risk factors for NAFLD-related HCC. In particular, DM increases 4-fold the risk of HCC incidence in NAFLD patients with advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis. There is a need to strengthen surveillance for HCC in NAFLD patients with DM, especially in those with advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis.

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