LATINO VOICES

Hispanics Face Highest Rate Of Diabetes-Related Illness

Hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, is typically found in men older than the age of 50. According to the National Library of Medicine, it is primarily the result of scarring of the liver called cirrhosis, a condition associated with alcohol abuse and chronic inflammation of the liver.

While alcohol abuse has long been the predominant cause of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States, a new report from the University of Southern California indicates diabetes is now considered a significant risk factor for this form of liver cancer, and Hispanics are more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to be at risk if they have diabetes.

“People with diabetes have a two to threefold higher risk for hepatocellular carcinoma compared with those without diabetes,” V. Wendy Setiawan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, said, as reported by ANI.

“We also found that the interethnic differences in the prevalence of diabetes were consistent with the pattern of hepatocellular carcinoma incidence observed across ethnicities: Ethnic groups with a high prevalence of diabetes also have high hepatocellular carcinoma rates, and those with a lower prevalence of diabetes have lower hepatocellular carcinoma rates.”

Hispanics were 2.77 times more likely to be diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma compared to Native Hawaiians at 2.48 times the risk, African-Americans at 2.16 times the risk, and Japanese-Americans at 2.07 time the risk.

The study, presented at the Sixth AACR Conference, also indicated the incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma was consistent with the rates of diabetes in study participant ethnicities; 16 percent for Hawaiians, 15 percent for Hispanics and African-Americans, 10 percent for Japanese Americans, and 6 percent for non-Hispanic whites.

Hispanics and chronic liver disease

Despite being disproportionately affected by diabetes and therefore at an increased risk for hepatocellular carcinoma, Hispanics in the United States already face a disparity when it comes to chronic liver disease. Research indicates Hispanics are predisposed to fatty liver disease, a condition which can result in cirrhosis due to excess fat being stored in the liver.

While once thought of as a condition common among Hispanic adults, fatty liver disease is being found more often among Hispanic children.

What’s more, Hispanic men are 1.7 times more likely to die from liver disease than non-Hispanic white men, and Hispanic women are 1.8 times more likely to die from the condition compared to non-Hispanic white women.

“Chronic liver disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among Hispanic people living in the United States,” stated a research published in 2011’s Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “Environmental, genetic, and behavioral factors, as well as socioeconomic and health care disparities among this ethnic group have emerged as important public health concerns.”

While alcohol plays an important role in the number of Hispanics affected by chronic liver disease–Hispanics drink less frequently than non-Hispanic whites but tend to drink more when they do indulge–genetic factors also seem to come into the equation.

Approximately 49 percent of the Hispanic population, compared to 23 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 17 percent of non-Hispanic blacks, carry a gene associated with higher liver fat content which can be observed in Hispanics as young as 8 years of age.

These factors combine to cause Hispanics to experience more aggressive patterns of illness and overall worse treatment outcomes related to chronic liver disease when compared to non-Hispanic whites, and the new research suggests diabetes is an additional complicating factor for the Hispanic population.

According to the Office of Minority Health, Hispanic adults are 1.7 times more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician; 1.6 times as likely to start treatment for end-stage renal disease related to diabetes, compared to non-Hispanic white men; ad 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes.

This article originally appeared on VOXXI under the title "Hispanics at highest risk for diabetes-related hepatocellular carcinoma.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Día de las Velitas
    <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dia-de-las-velitas-celebr_n_2260281">D&iacute;a de las Velitas</a>&nbsp;is celebrated
    LUIS ROBAYO via Getty Images
    Día de las Velitas is celebrated in Colombia on Dec. 7, marking the beginning of the holiday season. Families, friends and neighbors light candles in public areas and neighborhoods in honor of the Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated on Dec. 8.
  • Posadas
    Christmas Posadas are most popular in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the southwest United States. Children and adults dress u
    Flickr:kat_egli
    Christmas Posadas are most popular in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the southwest United States. Children and adults dress up as Mary and Joseph in small processions that are held during the nine days before Christmas Eve. The Posadas are supposed to be a reenactment of Joseph and Mary's -- "The Pilgrims"-- search for lodging on their way to Bethlehem. According to Mex Connect, the tradition includes a party at a different neighborhood home each night. "The Pilgrims" sing a song asking for shelter, with the hosts replying in song before opening the door to offer hot punch, fried rosette cookies known as buñuelos, steaming tamales and other holiday foods. The party ends with the rupturing of a piñata in the shape of the Christmas star. 
  • Oaxaca Radish Festival Mexico
    It is known as "Noche de Rabanos," or "Radish Night," a century-old celebration held every December 23 in the main square in
    Flickr:planeta
    It is known as "Noche de Rabanos," or "Radish Night," a century-old celebration held every December 23 in the main square in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. Artisans carve and fashion radishes into elaborate scenes and human figures in one of the most unique celebrations in the world. Radishes are made to look like Jesus and other characters in the nativity scene. There's traditional music, dance and typical food. And let's not forget the piñata!
  • Puerto Rico's Parrandas
    The parranda is a Puerto Rican tradition where groups of friends and even strangers gather to "asaltar" or overtake other fri
    Flickr:Puerto Rican Cultural Center
    The parranda is a Puerto Rican tradition where groups of friends and even strangers gather to "asaltar" or overtake other friends' homes with holiday merriment. Some "parranderos" play musical instruments such as guitars, tamboriles and maracas, while others dance. Everyone sings. Parrandas are spontaneous, so every household must be prepared all throughout the holidays and at all hours to receive guests. Rum and traditional food is always available.
  • Tamaladas
    Tamales are holiday staples in many parts of Latin America. Because making tamales&nbsp;can be pretty time consuming, many pe
    bhofack2 via Getty Images
    Tamales are holiday staples in many parts of Latin America. Because making tamales can be pretty time consuming, many people opt to participate in tamaladas, or tamal-making parties, where participants swap recipes and bond as they prepare this delicious holiday staple in bulk. 

    Caribbean Latinos also enjoy a similar tradition, hosting an informal gathering in someone's home where they make their own version of tamales: pasteles.

    Pasteles are typically made with plantain- or yuca-based masa instead of a corn-based masa, and are wrapped in banana leaves, rather than cornhusks.
  • Roller Skating in Venezuela
    As in many Hispanic countries, in the week leading up to Christmas Eve, Venezuelans take to the streets to celebrate the holi
    Getty
    As in many Hispanic countries, in the week leading up to Christmas Eve, Venezuelans take to the streets to celebrate the holiday season. But they add a spin to it. Many roller-skate in plazas or closed-off roads in holiday parties called "patinatas."
  • Novena
    The Novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. The prayers are
    Getty Images
    The Novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. The prayers are petitions but also offerings of thanks. Families typically gather around nativity scenes and pray together. After prayer, people play instruments and sing Villancicos or Christmas carols. In the picture above a group of children pray the Christmas Novena while recreating the Nativity scene in Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Villancicos
    Youtube
    Each night, after the Novena, families sing villancicos. Villancicos are similar to Christmas carols and are sung while playing instruments like maracas and tambourines. This is "El Burrito Sabanero" ("The Donkey From The Savannah"), a popular villancico. 
  • Nochebuena
    While most Americans are setting out cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, many Latino families are gathering to celebrat
    Bruce Ayres via Getty Images
    While most Americans are setting out cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, many Latino families are gathering to celebrate Nochebuena. Though festivities vary from household to household, most gatherings kickoff the night before Christmas with a party, complete with a large feast, traditional holiday music, dancing, gift-giving and, depending on the family’s religious beliefs, a trip to a late Mass known as Misa del Gallo. The festivities often last well into the wee hours of the Christmas morning. 
  • La Misa del Gallo
    Misa del Gallo, or the Rooster's Mass, is celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve to mark the birth of baby Jesus. This Catho
    Getty
    Misa del Gallo, or the Rooster's Mass, is celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve to mark the birth of baby Jesus. This Catholic tradition originated in Rome and Spain but spread to other countries. Today, Misa del Gallo is one of the most important celebrations across the Hispanic world and even in the Philippines, where it is "traditionally held at the crack of dawn," according to News Info Inquirer. "When the practice was popularized in Mexico, it was attuned to the needs of rural families who needed to celebrate Mass and still have time to return to their farms to work."
  • Año Viejo
    For&nbsp;the A&ntilde;o Viejo celebration, people make life-size dolls from cardboard, sawdust and cloth and burn them at mid
    Getty
    For the Año Viejo celebration, people make life-size dolls from cardboard, sawdust and cloth and burn them at midnight on December 31. The Año Viejo doll represents the bad times of the past year and they're being symbolically burned in hopes of starting the new year with a clean slate. It's also an opportunity for creativity, with the dolls often depicting famous people, cartoon characters and even political figures that people disagreed with during the previous year. The Año Viejo tradition is popular in South American countries.
  • Día de los Reyes Magos
    In many Spanish-speaking countries, Three Kings Day, or Dia de los Reyes Magos, on Jan. 6 is more important than Christmas. T
    Getty
    In many Spanish-speaking countries, Three Kings Day, or Dia de los Reyes Magos, on Jan. 6 is more important than Christmas. The holiday honors the arrival of the Three Wise Men -- Balthazar, Melchor and Gaspar-- bearing gifts for the newborn Jesus, a story from the New Testament. At the start of the new year, children typically write letters to Los Reyes Magos asking them for gifts. In Puerto Rico, it is traditional for children to leave grass or hay under their bed for the camels carrying the Three Kings. In Peru, parties are held to take down family nativity scenes and put them away until the next holiday season. This picture was taken in a Church celebration of Día de Los Reyes in San Salvador, El Salvador.
CONVERSATIONS