Currently Viewing:
Currently Reading
Lack of Payer Support a Barrier to Diabetes Prevention, CDC Reports
December 17, 2017 – Mary Caffrey
Pfizer Announces Phase 3 Trial for Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
December 15, 2017 – Samantha DiGrande
Average Profit Margin on Oncology Drugs For 340B Hospitals Nears 50%
December 15, 2017 – Jaime Rosenberg
Majority of Women With Breast Cancer Surgery Did Not Feel Fully Informed of Treatment Options
December 15, 2017 – Jaime Rosenberg
AJMC® in the Press, December 15, 2017
December 15, 2017 – AJMC Staff
What We're Reading: Medicare Lab Testing; CHIP Deadline; AMA Expands Diabetes Efforts
December 15, 2017 – AJMC Staff
5 Key Takeaways From ASH 2017
December 15, 2017 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
This Week in Managed Care: December 15, 2017
December 15, 2017
What We're Reading: Medical Device Tax; Marijuana and Vaping; Birth Control Without Prescriptions
December 14, 2017 – AJMC Staff

Diabetes, Obesity Linked to Liver Cancer in Study

Mary Caffrey
Rates of liver cancer have steadily climbed alongside rising rates of obesity and diabetes, leading researchers to investigate links among the conditions.
Add liver cancer to the risks associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity. That’s the conclusion of a new study published today in the journal Cancer Research, the official publication of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR).

Over the past 4 decades, rates of liver cancer have tripled alongside rising obesity rates and increased incidence of T2D, prompting leaders at AACR and the National Cancer Institute to investigate a connection between this type of cancer and metabolic disorders.

Led by Peter Campbell, PhD, strategic director for Digestive System Cancer Research at AACR, researchers pooled data from 14 prospective studies involving 1.57 million participants. All were asked about height, weight, alcohol and tobacco use, and other factors associated with cancer risk.

No one had cancer at the time of enrollment, while 6.5% of the participants already had T2D. Over time, 2162 participants developed liver cancer. The researchers compared rates of liver cancer among those with and without T2D and obesity, and found that as body mass index (BMI) increased, so did cancer risk.

For every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI, there was a 38% increased risk of liver cancer in men and a 25% increased risk in women. The risk of liver cancer rose 8% for every 5 cm increase (about 2 inches) in waist circumference.

Those with T2D were 2.61 times more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer, and risks rose with BMI (after controlling for alcohol and tobacco use and race).

“This is yet another reason to maintain a body weight in the normal range for your height,” said Campbell. By CDC standards, a normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2; from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while 30 and above is considered obese.

Campbell said the findings are consistent with other data that suggest the link between liver cancer and metabolic disorders. “Liver cancer isn’t simply related to excess alcohol intake and viral hepatitis infection,” he said.

Co-author Katherine A. McGlynn, PhD, MPH, of the National Cancer Institute echoed the public health implications of the study. “These results are very important because obesity and diabetes, unfortunately, are common conditions in the population,” she said. Although conditions like hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus are also associated with liver cancer, these are far less common.


Campbell PT, Newton CC, Freedman ND, et al. Body mass index, waist circumference, diabetes, and risk of liver cancer for U.S. adults. Cancer Res. 2016; DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0787. 

Copyright AJMC 2006-2017 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Welcome the the new and improved, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!