Diabetes Rounds

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Is Associated with Doubled Risk for Severe Liver Disease

Background & Aims

Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, risk factors that identify persons with the highest risk for these outcomes are missing from unselected, population-based cohorts.


The National Diabetes Register contains data on about 90% of persons in Sweden with type 2 diabetes. In this cohort study, persons with type 2 diabetes listed in the National Diabetes Register were compared with 5 individuals from the general population (controls), matched for age, sex, and county. In total, 406 770 persons with type 2 diabetes and 2 033 850 controls were included and followed for 21 596 934 person-years. We used population-based registers to determine the incidence of severe liver disease, defined as a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, cirrhosis, decompensation, liver failure and/or death due to liver disease during follow up. Cox regression was performed to estimate the risk of severe liver disease and to examine risk factors in persons with type 2 diabetes.


Risk for severe liver disease was increased in patients with type 2 diabetes compared to controls (hazard ratio, 2.28; 95% CI, 2.21–2.36). Risk factors associated with severe liver disease in persons with type 2 diabetes were higher age, male sex, hypertension, higher body mass index, lower glomerular filtration rate, microalbuminuria, and smoking. Statins were associated with a decreased risk of severe liver disease.


Persons with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for severe liver disease. Knowledge of risk factors can be helpful in identifying persons with type 2 diabetes who have a high risk for severe liver disease.

More at https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(19)30428-8/fulltext