Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Serum Biomarkers of Iron Status and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Yu YC, Luu HN, Wang R, Thomas CE, Glynn NW, Youk AO, Behari J, Yuan JM. Serum Biomarkers of Iron Status and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2022 Jan 1; 31(1):230-235.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become a major contributor to the rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the United States and other developed countries. Iron, an essential metal primarily stored in hepatocytes, may play a role in the development of NAFLD-related HCC. Epidemiologic data on iron overload without hemochromatosis in relation to HCC are sparse. This study aimed to examine the associations between serum biomarkers of iron and the risk of HCC in patients with NAFLD. METHODS: We identified 18,569 patients with NAFLD using the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center electronic health records from 2004 through 2018. After an average 4.34 years of follow-up, 244 patients developed HCC. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of HCC incidence associated with elevated levels of iron biomarkers with adjustment for age, sex, race, body mass index, history of diabetes, and tobacco smoking. RESULTS: The HRs (95% CIs) of HCC for clinically defined elevation of serum iron and transferrin saturation were 2.91 (1.34-6.30) and 2.02 (1.22-3.32), respectively, compared with their respective normal range. No statistically significant association was observed for total iron-binding capacity or serum ferritin with HCC risk. CONCLUSIONS: Elevated levels of serum iron and transferrin saturation were significantly associated with increased risk of HCC among patients with NAFLD without hemochromatosis or other major underlying causes of chronic liver diseases. IMPACT: Clinical surveillance of serum iron level may be a potential strategy to identify patients with NAFLD who are at high risk for HCC.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.