The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma appears to be increasing.
In this study, investigators examined temporal trends in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States.
The team evaluated data collected by population-based registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program.
They included all individuals diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma between 1975 and 1998.
The investigators found that the overall age-adjusted incidence rates of hepatocellular carcinoma increased from 1.4 per 100 000 in 1975 to 1977 to 3.0 per 100 000 in 1996 to 1998.
|There was an increase of 25% during the last 3 years of the study.|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
Furthermore, they identified a 25% increase during the last 3 years of the study, compared with the preceding 3 years.
The increase affected most age groups over 40 years. However, the greatest increase was in 45 to 49-year-olds.
The team also determined that white men had the greatest increase (31%) during the last 3 years.
Using a Poisson regression model, the team identified a 2-fold increase in the incidence rate ratio for hepatocellular carcinoma between 1975 to 1978 and 1996 to 1998.
Dr Hashem El-Serag's team concluded, "The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma continues to increase rapidly in the United States, with rates increasing the fastest in white men 45 to 54 years of age".
"These findings are consistent with a true increase and could be explained by consequences of hepatitis C virus acquired during the 1960s and 1970s".