The incidence and mortality associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have been increasing worldwide, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection plays an important role in the pathogenesis of HCC. Previous studies have suggested that host factors, such as sex, alcohol consumption, smoking, diabetes mellitus, and obesity, are important risk factors for HCC. Meanwhile, it has been reported that HCV infection causes insulin resistance and leads to oxidative stress, potentiating fibrosis and hepatic carcinogenesis. However, the factors that influence the development of HCC in HCV-infected patients remain largely unknown.
A research article published on February 21, 2011 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The authors hypothesized that obesity influences the time to onset of HCC related to HCV infection, which is reflected in the patient's age at onset. To test this hypothesis, they investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and lifestyle factors and age at onset of HCC in HCV-infected patients.
The research showed that the underweight patients (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2), tended to be older at HCC onset than patients within the normal weight range (BMI 18.5 kg/m2).
The results suggest that achieving an adequate body weight along with a reduction of alcohol intake in patients with chronic hepatitis C could help prevent hepatic carcinogenesis.
Reference: Akiyama T, Mizuta T, Kawazoe S, Eguchi Y, Kawaguchi Y, Takahashi H, Ozaki I, Fujimoto K. Body mass index is associated with age-at-onset of HCV-infected hepatocellular carcinoma patients. World J Gastroenterol 2011; 17(7): 914-921
Correspondence to: Toshihiko Mizuta, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, Saga Medical School, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 8498501, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
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About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H. pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2009 IF: 2.092. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.