Mayo Clinic physicians and researchers will present research at the annual American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, November 9-13, in Boston. The meeting is the largest gathering of hepatologists in the world, providing access to new research, updated treatment guidelines, and the latest advances in the field of hepatology.
Mayo Clinic researchers are presenting on a variety of topics. A few abstracts are highlighted below.
Genetics and smoking may increase risk of rare liver disease
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) is a complex autoimmune disease likely resulting from interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental exposure. Craig Lammert, M.D., and colleagues noted reported for the first time a link between smoking and genetics. A person with a certain genetic make-up is at an increased risk of PBC if they smoke.
“Our findings illustrate the complex role of interaction between genes and the environment in PBC risk and development, and could serve as a basis for predictive models of disease in families,” says Dr. Lammert.
Primary biliary cirrhosis is a disease in which the bile ducts in your liver are slowly destroyed. Bile, a fluid produced in your liver, plays a role in digesting food and helps rid your body of worn-out red blood cells, cholesterol and toxins. When bile ducts are damaged, as in primary biliary cirrhosis, harmful substances can build up in your liver and sometimes lead to irreversible scarring of liver tissue (cirrhosis).
Statins may reduce risk of hepatocellular carcinoma
Researchers at Mayo Clinic analyzed ten studies reporting 4,231 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). They found a 45 percent reduction in incidence of the cancer in patients that were taking statins. Interestingly, the preventative association was the same in both Asian and Western populations, which have different risk factors for HCC.