Elevated Serum Insulin is an Independent Risk Factor for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Case Control Study from Nepal

  • Gupta, Satrudhan Pd (Department of Biochemistry, Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences) ;
  • Mittal, Ankush (Department of Biochemistry, Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences) ;
  • Sathian, Brijesh (Department of Community Medicine, Manipal College of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Jha, Dipendra Kumar (Department of Biochemistry, Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences)
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Aim: To investigate associations of fasting insulin and glucose levels in serum with hepatocellular carcinoma risk. Materials and Methods: This hospital based study was carried out using data retrieved from the register maintained in the Department of Biochemistry of the Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences, between 1st December, 2011 and 31st June, 2013. The variables collected were age, fasting plasma glucose, fasting plasma insulin and ALT. Quantitative determination of human insulin concentrations was accomplished by chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay. Results: Of the total 220 subjects enrolled in our present study, 20 cases were of HCC and 200 were healthy controls. The maximum number of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma in category cutpoints of fasting insulin levels fell in the range of >6.10 ${\mu}U/ml$. The highest insulin levels (>6.10 ${\mu}U/ml$) were seen to be associated with an 2.36 fold risk of HCC when compared with fasting insulin levels of (<2.75 ${\mu}U/ml$). Furthermore, the insulin levels (2.75-4.10 ${\mu}U/ml$) of category cutpoints also conferred a 1.57 fold risk for HCC when compared with lowest fasting insulin levels of (<2.75 ${\mu}U/ml$). Conclusions: The effect of an insulin level in increasing HCC risk appeared consistent, influencing incidence, risk of recurrence, overall survival, and treatment-related complications in HCC patients.


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