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Higher age at diagnosis of hemochromatosis is the strongest predictor of the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in the Swiss hemochromatosis cohort: A prospective longitudinal observational study


Nowak, Albina; Giger, Rebekka S; Krayenbuehl, Pierre-Alexandre (2018). Higher age at diagnosis of hemochromatosis is the strongest predictor of the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in the Swiss hemochromatosis cohort: A prospective longitudinal observational study. Medicine, 97(42):e12886.

Abstract

Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is the most common genetic disease in Caucasians which is characterized by an increased intestinal iron absorption, resulting into a progressive accumulation of iron in organs including liver, heart, and pancreas, leading to their progressive dysfunction. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a long-term complication of HH, which contributes to increased mortality.We evaluated the risk factors of HCC in a prospective cohort of Swiss hemochromatosis patients with a long-term follow-up.We included 147 patients with the mean age at diagnosis of 48 years, in whom 70% were men. Overall, 9% of the patients developed HCC during the mean follow-up time of 14 years (range 1-40 years). Patients with HCC had higher age at diagnosis (61 ± 11 vs 47 ± 13 years, P = .003), more frequently liver cirrhosis on biopsy (90% vs 37.5%, P = .004), and higher serum ferritin levels [3704 (Q1:2025, Q3:4463) vs 1338 (Q1:691, Q3:2468) μg/L, P < .001], they needed more iron removed by phlebotomy until its depletion [8.9 (Q1:7.2, Q3:10.1) vs 3.8 (Q1:1.6, Q3:8.9) g, P = .029], compared to non-HCC patients. After adjustment for possible confounders, only higher age at diagnosis remained significantly associated with HCC development (odds ratio 1.19, 95% CI 0.056-0.397, P = .001, per year).Higher age at diagnosis showed the strongest association with the occurrence of HCC in Swiss hemochromatosis patients. Patients who were diagnosed at a higher age and with a high iron overload (serum ferritin levels >1000 μg/L) require regular screening even if they have no liver cirrhosis.

Abstract

Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is the most common genetic disease in Caucasians which is characterized by an increased intestinal iron absorption, resulting into a progressive accumulation of iron in organs including liver, heart, and pancreas, leading to their progressive dysfunction. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a long-term complication of HH, which contributes to increased mortality.We evaluated the risk factors of HCC in a prospective cohort of Swiss hemochromatosis patients with a long-term follow-up.We included 147 patients with the mean age at diagnosis of 48 years, in whom 70% were men. Overall, 9% of the patients developed HCC during the mean follow-up time of 14 years (range 1-40 years). Patients with HCC had higher age at diagnosis (61 ± 11 vs 47 ± 13 years, P = .003), more frequently liver cirrhosis on biopsy (90% vs 37.5%, P = .004), and higher serum ferritin levels [3704 (Q1:2025, Q3:4463) vs 1338 (Q1:691, Q3:2468) μg/L, P < .001], they needed more iron removed by phlebotomy until its depletion [8.9 (Q1:7.2, Q3:10.1) vs 3.8 (Q1:1.6, Q3:8.9) g, P = .029], compared to non-HCC patients. After adjustment for possible confounders, only higher age at diagnosis remained significantly associated with HCC development (odds ratio 1.19, 95% CI 0.056-0.397, P = .001, per year).Higher age at diagnosis showed the strongest association with the occurrence of HCC in Swiss hemochromatosis patients. Patients who were diagnosed at a higher age and with a high iron overload (serum ferritin levels >1000 μg/L) require regular screening even if they have no liver cirrhosis.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:October 2018
Deposited On:31 Jan 2019 10:30
Last Modified:31 Jan 2019 12:14
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:0025-7974
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000012886
PubMed ID:30335010

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