Background: Fatty liver is a common disease in developed countries. We investigated the frequency of operation in patients with fatty liver and the frequency of cancer in their first-degree relatives.
Methods: In this study, we evaluated 105 patients with biopsy-proven nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), 121 patients with hepatitis C (61 patients with fatty liver and 60 patients without fatty liver), 50 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and 109 patients with dyspepsia as a control group.
Results: There was no difference for sex, mean age, and marital status among the groups, except that patients with IBD were younger than others (p < 0.001). The frequency of cancer in family was as follows: 18 % in IBD, 9 % in dyspepsia, 28 % in hepatitis C with hepatic steatosis, 21.5 % in hepatitis C without steatosis, and 27 % in NAFLD (p = 0.006). Then, we divided the study group into two groups-group 1: IBD + dyspepsia + hepatitis C without hepatic steatosis, and group 2: hepatitis C with hepatic steatosis + NAFLD-and performed the same analysis. We found that the frequency of cancer in family was 16 % in group 1 (the patients without fatty liver) vs. 24.4 % in group 2 (those with fatty liver; p = 0.037). We also investigated the rate of operation in patients. The results were as follows: 33 % in group 1 vs. 43 % in group 2 (p = 0.043).
Conclusions: Independently of the underlying chronic diseases, occurrence of fat in the liver increased the frequency of operation in patients with fatty liver and the rate of cancer in their first-degree relatives. Understanding the underlying causes of fatty liver forms might decrease the cancer frequency in the population and number of operation in patients with fatty liver.
Keywords: Cancer; Dyspepsia; Fatty liver; Hepatitis C; Inflammatory bowel disease; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Operation; Surgery.