Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are the major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dr Thein and colleagues from Australia examined trends in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma among a population-based cohort of people infected with hepatitis B and C.
Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus cases notified to the New South Wales Health Department between 1992 and 2007 were linked to the Central Cancer Registry, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and National HIV/AIDS Registries.
Crude hepatocellular carcinoma incidence rates were estimated using person-time methodology.
|Incidence rates in the HCV monoinfected group increased|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
The team calculated age-standardized incidence rates using the 2001 Australian population.
Trends in incidence were examined using join point regression models.
Between 1992 and 2007, the research team observed that 1201 people had a linked hepatocellular carcinoma record.
The team reported that 556 of those had hepatitis B virus, 592 hepatitis C virus, 45 had hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus co-infection, and 8 had HIV co-infection.
The overall age-standardized hepatocellular carcinoma incidence rates declined non-significantly from 148 per 100,000 population in 1995 to 101 in 2007 among the hepatitis B virus monoinfected group and significantly from 152 per 100,000 population to 75 among the hepatitis C virus monoinfected group.
The team found that incidence rates in the HCV monoinfected group progressively increased from the period 1992–1997 to 2004–2007 when adjusted for age, sex, and birth cohort, and the total number of cases per annum continued to increase.
Dr Thein's team concluded, "Despite declines in the age-adjusted incidence rates of hepatocellular carcinoma over time, the absolute number of cases increased likely due to the ageing cohort and an increasing prevalence of both hepatitis B and C in Australia."