Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasingly reported in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Our aim was to assess the prevalence and mortality of patients with NAFLD-HCC. We examined Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registries (2004-2009) with Medicare-linkage files for HCC, which was identified by the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, third edition codes using topography and morphology codes 8170-8175. Medicare-linked data was used to identify NAFLD, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and other liver disease using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. NAFLD was also defined by clinical diagnosis (cryptogenic cirrhosis, obese-diabetics with cryptogenic liver disease). A logistic regression model was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of HCC. In addition, adjusted hazard ratios for 1-year mortality were estimated by Cox's proportional hazard regression. A total of 4,929 HCC cases and 14,937 controls without HCC were included. Of the HCC cases, 54.9% were related to HCV, 16.4% to ALD, 14.1% to NAFLD, and 9.5% to HBV. Across the 6-year period (2004 to 2009), the number of NAFLD-HCC showed a 9% annual increase. NAFLD-HCC were older, had shorter survival time, more heart disease, and were more likely to die from their primary liver cancer (all P < 0.0001). Of those who received a transplant after HCC (n = 488), only 5% were related to NAFLD-HCC. In multivariate analysis, NAFLD increased the risk of 1-year mortality (OR, 1.21; 95% CI: 1.01-1.45). Additionally, older age, lower income, unstaged HCC increased risk of 1-year mortality while receiving a liver transplant (LT), and having localized tumor stage were protective (all P < 0.05).
Conclusions: NAFLD is becoming a major cause of HCC in the United States. NAFLD HCC is associated with shorter survival time, more advanced tumor stage, and lower possibility of receiving a LT.
© 2015 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.