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Mexican-Americans Have Increased Risk for Liver Disease

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 -- Mexican-Americans are more likely to be obese, have diabetes, and be heavy drinkers, according to a study presented at the 10th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held from Sept. 25 to 28 in Atlanta.

Yvonne N. Flores, Ph.D., from the Fielding School of Public Health in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared the prevalence of risk factors for liver disease/cancer in a sample of Mexican-Americans to a sample of adults who reside in Mexico. Data were included for 13,798 individuals: 9,485 Mexican subjects who currently reside in Mexico, 2,324 U.S.-born Mexican-Americans who live in the United States, and 1,989 Mexican-born Mexican-Americans who live in the United States.

The researchers found that Mexican-born Mexican-American males were less likely to have hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus (odds ratio, 0.2), but were more likely to have high cholesterol (odds ratio, 1.4), than their counterparts in Mexico, after controlling for potential confounders. Compared with males in Mexico, U.S.-born Mexican-American males were more likely to have metabolic syndrome and diabetes (odds ratios, 1.4 and 3.0, respectively); Mexican-American males were also more likely to be obese, have abdominal obesity, have diabetes, and be heavy/binge drinkers. Similar results were seen for females.

"More studies are needed to evaluate how the accumulation of specific risk factors may be contributing [to] the increased risk of chronic liver disease in Mexican-Americans," Flores said in a statement.

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Posted: September 2017