Background: The role of serum calcium in hepatocellular cancer (HCC) patients with features of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is largely unknown. This study aimed to determine the association of serum calcium with clinical features, and the correlation between serum calcium and metabolic parameters, including serum fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and lipids, in HCC patients.
Methods: The study included 180 HCC patients. Unpaired t-test and covariance analysis were performed to evaluate the distribution of serum calcium among different categorical variables. Simple correlation analyses and partial correlation analyses were conducted to assess the correlations between serum calcium and metabolic parameters.
Results: HCC patients with cirrhosis had significantly lower total serum calcium than those without cirrhosis, and patients with distant metastasis had significantly higher corrected calcium than their counterparts after adjusting for confounders. Significant correlations between total calcium and metabolic parameters were observed in HCC patients, and these correlations were still significant after adjusting for cirrhosis and distant metastasis. However, the corrected serum calcium showed no significant correlation with metabolic parameters.
Conclusions: Serum calcium, especially total serum calcium, might be a more sensitive indicator for metabolic syndrome in HCC patients than FPG and lipids.