Diabetes sufferers have a 70% higher risk of dying from liver disease than those without the condition, researchers have said.
Complications caused by diabetes can make some types of liver disease more harmful - where poor blood sugar control boosts the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
This can cause scarring of the liver - also known as cirrhosis - and cancer.
The health records of people aged 35 to 84 were analysed by British researchers over a six-year period to 2007 for the study. They compared 1,267 people with diabetes and 10,100 without the condition, who all died of liver disease.
The results showed that around one in four (24%) people with diabetes died of liver cancer compared with 9% of those without diabetes. However, far more people without diabetes died from alcoholic liver disease (63%), than those with diabetes (38%).
Diabetic patients are advised not to drink too much alcohol due to its potential impact on blood sugar levels and the extra calories causing weight gain.
Overall, the study found people with diabetes were 70% more likely to die from liver disease.
Lead researcher Dr Sarah Wild, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease increases the risk of cirrhosis which in turn increases the risk of liver cancer.
“A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk and prevention is particularly important because the options for treatment are limited.”
The research is being presented at the Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference.
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