Hypothyroidism Linked to Liver Cancer in WomenLast Updated: May 14, 2009. Hypothyroidism is associated with a three-fold higher risk of developing liver cancer in women, even among those without major risk factors, according to a study in the May issue of Hepatology.
THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Hypothyroidism is associated with a three-fold higher risk of developing liver cancer in women, even among those without major risk factors, according to a study in the May issue of Hepatology.
Manal M. Hassan, M.D., from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues examined the association between hypothyroidism and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 420 patients with cancer and 1,104 healthy controls.
After controlling for established risk factors, the researchers found that women who had hypothyroidism for more than 10 years had a significantly higher risk of developing HCC (odds ratio, 2.9). No increase in risk was observed for men. Even low-risk patients (hepatitis virus-negative, nondrinkers, nondiabetics, nonsmokers, and nonobese) had a two- to three-fold higher risk of HCC with long-term hypothyroidism. When combined with hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus (odds ratio, 9.4) or chronic hepatitis virus infection (odds ratio, 31.2) among women increased the risk of HCC more than the addition of the two risks.
"In summary, our results suggested that long-term hypothyroidism is associated with HCC, independent from other major HCC risk factors, and this association was significant only among women," Hassan and colleagues conclude. "Although hypothyroidism-associated weight gain (overweight or obesity) may partially explain the association between hypothyroidism and HCC, hypothyroidism independent from obesity can also contribute to HCC development."
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