Background: Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is an increasingly common cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in China.
Aims: We aimed to determine differences in demographic and behavioral profiles associated with HCC in HCV+ patients in China and the USA.
Methods: Consecutive HCV+ patients were recruited from centers in China and the USA. Clinical data and lifestyle profiles were obtained through standardized questionnaires. Multivariable analysis was conducted to determine factors associated with HCC diagnosis within groups.
Results: We included 41 HCC patients from China and 71 from the USA, and 931 non-HCC patients in China and 859 in China. Chinese patients with HCC were significantly younger, less likely to be male and to be obese than US patients with HCC (all p < 0.001). Chinese patients with HCC had a significantly lower rate of cirrhosis diagnosis (36.6 vs. 78.9%, p < 0.001); however, they also had a higher rate of hepatitis B core antibody positivity (63.4 vs. 36.8%, p = 0.007). In a multivariable analysis of the entire Chinese cohort, age > 55, male sex, the presence of diabetes, and time from maximum weight were associated with HCC, while tea consumption was associated with a decreased HCC risk (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.16-0.88). In the US cohort, age > 55, male sex, and cirrhosis were associated with HCC on multivariable analysis.
Conclusions: With the aging Chinese population and increasing rates of diabetes, there will likely be continued increase in the incidence of HCV-related HCC in China. The protective effect of tea consumption on HCC development deserves further validation.
Keywords: Diabetes; HCC; HCV; Lifestyle; Tea.