Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Tied to Higher CRC Risk

HealthDay News - Findings indicate ultrasound detection of fatty liver should promote colonoscopy screening

HealthDay News - Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) undergoing screening colonoscopy have more early or precursor colorectal carcinoma (CRC) lesions compared to subjects without NAFLD, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Andreas Stadlmayr, M.D., from the Oberndorf Hospital in Austria, and colleagues evaluated whether NAFLD was an independent risk factor for CRC in 1,211 patients who underwent screening colonoscopy according to national screening recommendations for CRC. In 603 males (average age, 60.6 years) and 608 females (average age, 61.1 years), NAFLD was diagnosed by increased echogenicity on ultrasound examination. Colorectal adenomas were categorized as tubular adenoma, advanced adenoma, or carcinoma.

The investigators found that 367 males and 265 females were diagnosed with NAFLD. Male and female patients with NAFLD had a significantly higher total rate of adenomas than individuals without NAFLD. Males with NAFLD had significantly more tubular adenomas, more adenomas of the rectum, and more cancers compared to males without NAFLD. Females with NAFLD had significantly more tubular adenomas, and adenomas of the proximal colon compared to those without NAFLD. Colorectal adenomas were independently associated with hepatic steatosis after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, and glucose intolerance (odds ratio, 1.47).

"Patients with NAFLD undergoing screening colonoscopy reveal significantly more CRC precursor lesions and early CRC compared to subjects without NAFLD," the authors write. "These findings suggest that detecting fatty liver on ultrasound should heighten the awareness for referral to screening colonoscopy."

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with SPAR Austria.

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