Liver disease deaths 'higher among diabetics'
People with diabetes are 70% more likely to die from liver disease
than those without the condition, according to new research.It is
already known that diabetes can increase the risk of some types of liver
disease, with poor blood sugar control boosting the risk.This can lead
to scarring of the liver - also known as cirrhosis - and cancer.In the
study, Edinburgh researchers analysed the records of people aged 35 to
84 over a six-year period to 2007.
They compared 1,267 diabetes sufferers to 10,100 people without the
condition, who all died of liver disease.The results showed about one in
four (24%) people with diabetes died of liver cancer, compared to one in
ten (9%) of non-diabetics.
However, more people without diabetes died from alcoholic liver
disease (63%) compared to those with diabetes (38%).Diabetic patients
are advised not to drink too much alcohol because of its potential
impact on blood sugar levels and the risk of weight gain.Dr. Sarah Wild,
of Edinburgh University, said: "Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has
become much more common recently, particularly among people with
"The major risk factor for it is being overweight, which is also an
important risk factor for Type 2 diabetes."Non-alcoholic fatty liver
disease increases the risk of cirrhosis which in turn increases the risk
of liver cancer."A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk and prevention
is particularly important because the options for treatment are
The research is being presented at the Diabetes UK Annual
Professional Conference, which ends on Friday.Diabetes UK director of
research, Dr. Iain Frame, said: "Previous studies have found a link
between diabetes and liver disease and this research adds to that
knowledge."We now need further investigation into how diabetes affects
the liver to find new methods of preventing this complication."