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Risk increase for liver disease for adults with diabetes

A recent study published in the revealed that adults with newly diagnosed diabetes are at risk to have advanced liver disease or diabetic hepatopathy. According to Liane Porepa, MD, from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, and her colleagues, their population-based, matched, retrospective cohort study revealed an incidence rate of serious liver disease of 8.19 per 10,000 person-years versus 4.17 per 10,000 person-years among those without diabetes.

“The negative impact of diabetes mellitus is well-recognized, yet little is known about the effect of this disease on the to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease related to insulin resistance,” the study authors write. “Adults with newly diagnosed diabetes appeared to be at higher risk of advanced liver disease, also known as diabetic hepatopathy, whether this reflects nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or direct glycemic injury of the liver remains to be determined.”

The study used administrative health databases for Ontario from 1994 to 2006 to identify 438,069 adults with newly diagnosed diabetes. A comparison group of 2,059,708 individuals without known diabetes were matched 5:1 to exposed persons by birth year, sex, and local health region. Persons with preexisting liver or alcohol-related disease were excluded. Other limitations include possible misclassification of persons with diabetes, inability to distinguish between newly diagnosed liver, an organ susceptible types 1 and 2 diabetes, and the possibility that diabetes developed as a complication of cirrhosis. The authors could not also rule out subclinical preexisting liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or steatohepatitis.

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