A meta-analysis of case-control studies on the combined effect of hepatitis B and C virus infections in causing hepatocellular carcinoma in China

Br J Cancer. 2005 Feb 14;92(3):607-12. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602333.


We investigated whether concurrent infection by hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in China, a hyperepidemic area for these infections, was associated with a higher risk of causing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than each infection alone in a meta-analysis in China, 32 case-control studies involving 3201 cases and 4005 controls, identified from a computer-based literature search from 1966 to 2004. The pooled odds ratio and 95% confidence interval (CI) for HBsAg positivity was 14.1 (95% CI: 10.6-18.8); for anti-HCV/HCV RNA positivity was 4.6 (95% CI: 3.6-5.9); for HBsAg positivity and anti-HCV/HCV RNA negativity were 15.6 (95% CI: 11.5-21.3); for HBsAg negativity and anti-HCV/HCV RNA positivity were 8.1 (95% CI: 5.0-13.0); and positivity for both HBsAg and anti-HCV/HCV RNA was 35.7 (95% CI: 26.2-48.5). We conclude that HBV and HCV infections are important independent risk factors for HCC in China, and that dual infection by HBV and HCV is associated with a higher risk of causing HCC than each infection alone, suggesting a synergism between HBV and HCV.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / virology*
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk