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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and mortality among cancer survivors.
Brown JC, Harhay MO, Harhay MN. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and mortality among cancer survivors. Cancer epidemiology. 2017 Jun 1; 48:104-109.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may foster a tumor microenvironment that promotes cancer recurrence and progression. We examined the relationship between NAFLD and mortality among a sample of cancer survivors.
Ultrasonography was used to assess hepatic steatosis, and standardized algorithms were used to define NAFLD. Study endpoints included all-cause, cancer-specific, and cardiovascular-specific mortality.
Among 387 cancer survivors, 17.6% had NAFLD. During a median of 17.9 years of follow up, we observed 196 deaths from all causes. In multivariable-adjusted regression models, NAFLD was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality [HR: 2.52, 95% CI: 1.47-4.34; P = 0.001]. We observed 86 cancer-specific deaths. In multivariable-adjusted regression models, NAFLD was associated with an increased risk of cancer-specific mortality [HR: 3.21, 95% CI: 1.46-7.07; P = 0.004]. We observed 46 cardiovascular-specific deaths. In multivariable-adjusted regression models, NAFLD was not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular-specific mortality [HR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.30-3.64, P = 0.951].
NAFLD is associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cancer-specific mortality among cancer survivors. This novel observation warrants replication. Evaluating the efficacy of interventions, such as lifestyle modification through weight loss and exercise, to improve NAFLD in this population may be considered.