Diet May Influence Liver Disease ProgressionIncreased long-term risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer linked to diets high in protein and cholesterol
Publish date: Jul 13, 2009
MONDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary nutrient composition may be
associated with an increased or decreased long-term risk of developing cirrhosis
or liver cancer, according to a study published in the July issue of Hepatology.
George N. Ioannou, M.D., of the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System
in Seattle, and colleagues studied 9,221 subjects ages 25 to 74 years who were
enrolled in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and were
cirrhosis-free at baseline and during the first five years of follow-up.
After a mean follow-up of 13.3 years, the researchers found that 118 subjects
had developed cirrhosis and that five had developed liver cancer. After
adjusting for potential confounders, the researchers found a high-protein diet
was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or death resulting from
cirrhosis or liver cancer, while a high-carbohydrate diet was associated with a
decreased risk. They also found that high cholesterol consumption -- but not
serum cholesterol or total fat consumption -- was associated with an increased
risk of cirrhosis or liver cancer.
"Many determinants of liver disease progression are currently unknown, as
evidenced by the fact that we cannot predict accurately which patients with any
of the major liver diseases (hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, nonalcoholic
fatty liver disease, and alcoholic liver disease) will progress to cirrhosis and
which ones will have a relatively benign course," the authors conclude. "Our
study raises the possibility that dietary factors may be important, modifiable,
and hitherto unrecognized determinants of liver disease progression."
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