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The Importance of Metabolic Syndrome Status for the Risk of Non-Viral Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

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Cho, Yuri; Cho, Eun Ju; Yoo, Jeong-Ju; Chang, Young; Chung, Goh Eun; Choi, In Young; Park, Sang-Hyun; Han, Kyungdo; Kim, Yoon Jun; Yoon, Jung-Hwan; Shin, Dong Wook; Yu, Su Jong

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Frontiers Media S.A.
Frontiers in Oncology, Vol.12, p. 863352
Copyright © 2022 Cho, Cho, Yoo, Chang, Chung, Choi, Park, Han, Kim, Yoon, Shin and Yu.The positive association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been suggested. However, no studies have yet looked at how the risk of developing HCC varies with changes in MetS status. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between changes in MetS and subsequent HCC development. Data were obtained from the Korean National Health Insurance Service. In this study, 5,975,308 individuals who participated in health screenings both in 2009–2010 and 2011–2012 were included. Individuals with preexisting viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or cancer diagnoses were excluded. Subjects were divided into four groups according to change in MetS status during the 2-year interval screening (from 2009 to 2011): sustained non-MetS, transition to MetS, transition to non-MetS, and sustained MetS. Cox regression analysis was used to examine the hazard ratios of HCC. The subjects were followed through December 31, 2018. During a median of 7.3 years of follow-up, 25,880 incident HCCs were identified. Compared to the sustained non-MetS group, age, sex, smoking, alcohol, regular exercise, and body mass index-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for HCC development were 1.01 (0.97–1.05) for the transition to MetS group, 1.05 (1.003–1.09) for the transition to non-MetS group, and 1.07 (1.03–1.10) for the sustained MetS group. Stratified analyses according to age, sex, smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and chronic kidney disease showed similar results. A significantly increased HCC risk was observed in the sustained MetS and transition to non-MetS groups. The baseline status of MetS was associated with the risk of HCC development. Strategies to improve MetS, especially targeting insulin resistance, might prevent HCC development.
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