Background: The incidence and mortality rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are increasing in the United States. Viral hepatitis infection is a primary risk factor for HCC. This study describes the relationship between viral hepatitis and HCC in New York City (NYC).
Methods: Viral hepatitis cases reported to the NYC Department of Health from 1999-2012 were matched to HCC cases diagnosed from 2001 to 2012 and reported to the New York State Cancer Registry. HCC cases were stratified by the presence or absence of viral hepatitis. Demographic characteristics, factors associated with specific causes of death, and survival time were analyzed for all HCC cases.
Results: From 2001-2012, a total of 8827 NYC residents had HCC diagnosed; 38.4% had hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, 17.9% had hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, and 2.2% had both. Patients with HCC were predominantly men (74.8%), with equal proportions of white non-Hispanic (28.6%) and Hispanic (28.9%) patients. Those with HBV infection were primarily Asian/Pacific Islanders (63.2%). The median survival time after HCC diagnosis for persons with HBV infection was 22.3 months, compared with 13.1 months for persons with HCV infection, and 6.9 months for noninfected persons. The 5-year survival rate was 37.5% for those with HBV infection, 20.0% for those with HCV infection, 29.5% among coinfected individuals, and 16.1% for those with neither infection reported.
Conclusions: In NYC, most persons with HCC have viral hepatitis; the majority of viral hepatitis infections are due to HCV. Survival for persons with HCC differs widely by viral hepatitis status. This study highlights the importance of viral hepatitis prevention and treatment and HCC screening.
Keywords: hepatitis B; hepatitis C; hepatocellular carcinoma; screening; survival.
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