Background: Metabolic disorders are well-known risk factors for HCC. Conversely, their impact on the natural history of HCC is not established. This study aimed at evaluating the impact of metabolic disorders on clinical features, treatment and survival of HCC patients regardless of its aetiology. Methods: We analysed the ITA.LI.CA database regarding 839 HCC patients prospectively collected. The following metabolic features were analysed: BMI, diabetes, arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and hypertriglyceridaemia. According to these features, patients were divided into 3 groups: 0-1, 2 and 3-5 metabolic features. Results: As compared with patients with 0-1 metabolic features, patients with 3-5 features showed lower percentage of HCC diagnosis on surveillance (P =.021), larger tumours (P =.038), better liver function (higher percentage of Child-Pugh class A [P =.007] and MELD < 10 [P =.003]), higher percentage of metastasis (P =.024) and lower percentage of portal vein thrombosis (P =.010). The BCLC stage and treatment options were similar among the 3 groups, with the exception of a less frequent access to loco-regional therapies for BCLC stage B patients with 3-5 features (P =.012). Overall survival and survival according to BCLC stage and/or treatment did not significantly differ among the 3 groups. Only using a probabilistic sensitivity analysis, diabetic patients showed a lower survival (P =.046). MELD score, HCC morphology, nodule size, BCLC stage, portal vein thrombosis and metastasis were independent predictors of lead-time adjusted survival. Conclusions: Our “real world” study suggests that metabolic disorders shape the clinical presentation of HCC but do not seem to play a major role in setting patient survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2028-2039
Number of pages12
JournalLiver International
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


  • diabetes
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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