High prevalence of diabetes mellitus in patients with liver cirrhosis

N. Wlazlo*, H.J.B.H. Beijers, E.J. Schoon, H.P. Sauerwein, C.D.A. Stehouwer, B. Bravenboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AIMS: The reported prevalence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus in patients with liver cirrhosis is five times higher than in the general population. However, these data were never adjusted for classical risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. We therefore investigated the association between cirrhosis and Type 2 diabetes and adjusted for known risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. METHODS: We reviewed medical files for presence of Type 2 diabetes and potential confounders in 94 patients with cirrhosis (cases) and compared these with a control group of 107 patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for potential confounders. RESULTS: The aetiology of our cirrhosis population was alcohol (59%), viral hepatitis (10%), biliary cirrhosis (3%) or cryptogenic (28%). Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes was significantly higher in patients with cirrhosis than in control subjects: 35/94 (37%) vs. 7/107 (7%) (OR 8.5, 95% CI 3.5-20.2, P < 0.001). After adjustment for age, sex, family history of Type 2 diabetes, alcohol use and BMI, cirrhosis remained significantly associated with Type 2 diabetes (OR 13.6, 95% CI 4.3-42.9, P < 0.001). Most cases of Type 2 diabetes were already diagnosed before diagnosis of cirrhosis (21/35, 60%) or were incidentally found together with cirrhosis (5/35, 14%). CONCLUSIONS: Liver cirrhosis had a strong, independent association with Type 2 diabetes. Classical risk factors such as family history and BMI could not explain the high Type 2 diabetes prevalence in cirrhosis. Therefore, a liver-derived factor might aggravate glucose intolerance and cause Type 2 diabetes in cirrhosis. In addition, Type 2 diabetes might also cause cirrhosis through liver steatosis and fibrosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-11
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'High prevalence of diabetes mellitus in patients with liver cirrhosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this