Introduction: The incidence of hepatocellular cancer (HCC) continues to rise in Europe with a shift of the primary cause towards alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Metabolic factors like diabetes mellitus and overweight have been identified as significant risk factors for HCC development.
Patients and methods: A retrospective analysis in a large single-center cohort of 650 patients diagnosed with HCC was performed. Demographic characteristics, risk factors, tumor stage at diagnosis and survival were evaluated.
Results: Among 650 patients (aged 17-87 years, with a male: female ratio of 4:1), 80.8% had underlying liver cirrhosis. Alcohol abuse was identified as the only risk factor for liver cirrhosis in 52.2% of patients. Viral infection with hepatitis C and hepatitis B was present in 13.7 and 3.6% of patients, respectively. 66.1% of patients with HCC were overweight with a body mass index exceeding 25, 25.5% even exceeding 30; 52% of patients had diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion: Strategies aiming at prevention and surveillance of patients at risk to develop HCC in the future need to widen the focus from patients with chronic viral hepatitis and a history of alcohol abuse to patients with metabolic risk factors.
Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.