Associations Between Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Cancers in a Large Cohort in China.
The relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cancer, especially extrahepatic cancers, has not been fully clarified. We analyzed data from a large prospective cohort study to determine the relationship between NAFLD and development of cancers in men.We collected data from the Kailuan cohort, a community-based cohort of 54187 adult men in China, from June 2006 through October 2007. NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasonography after excluding other causes related to chronic liver disease. Fine and Gray competing risk regression model was used to evaluate associations between NAFLD (without cirrhosis) and cancers.The prevalence of NAFLD was 32.3%. NAFLD was associated with increased risk of all cancers (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% CI, 1.10-1.36; P=.0001), thyroid cancer (HR, 2.79; 95% CI, 1.25-6.21; P=.01), and lung cancer (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.02-1.49; P=.03). The association between NAFLD and risk of thyroid cancer increased with level of alanine aminotransferase (ALT). In men with NAFLD, level of ALT 80 U/L or more was associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HR, 8.08; 95% CI, 2.46-26.56; P=.0006). NAFLD increased risk of colorectal cancer (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.17-3.27) and lung cancer (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.03-1.84) only in smokers. An association between NAFLD and kidney cancer (HR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.03-2.40) was only observed in men without diabetes.A cohort study from China found that men with NAFLD have a higher risk of extrahepatic cancers, including thyroid and lung cancer. In men with NAFLD, higher levels of ALT were associated with higher risk of thyroid and hepatocellular cancer. NAFLD increased risk of colorectal and lung cancer only in smokers, and increased risk of kidney cancer in men without diabetes.