Liver problems are much more prevalent in diabetic men, according to the results of a study reported in Gastroenterology (February 2004). The researchers found that men with diabetes have a 2-fold higher risk of developing liver cancer and other chronic liver diseases, compared with nondiabetic men.
Using computerized records from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the researchers looked at all the patients diagnosed with diabetes between 1985 and 1990. They matched each diabetic patient with 3 nondiabetic patients and followed them through 2000. Almost all of the participants were men, a majority had type 2 diabetes, and liver disease was not present when the participants were first diagnosed with diabetes.
Age, gender, ethnicity, or other illnesses were found not to be factors in the increased risk. The increased risk, however, was higher in patients who had diabetes for >10 years, noted researcher Hashem B. El-Serag, MD, MPH.