A record-linkage study of the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in persons with hepatitis C infection in Scotland

S. A. McDonald, S. J. Hutchinson, S. M. Bird, C. Robertson, P. R. Mills, J. F. Dillon, D. J. Goldberg

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    We investigated trends in first-time hospital admissions and deaths attributable to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in a large population-based cohort of 22 073 individuals diagnosed with hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection through laboratory testing in Scotland in 1991-2006. We identified new cases of HCC through record-linkage to the national inpatient hospital discharge database and deaths registry. A total of 172 persons diagnosed with HCV were admitted to hospital or died with first-time mention of HCC. Hepatocellular carcinoma incidence increased between 1996 and 2006 ( average annual change of 6.1, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.9-11.6%, P = 0.021). The adjusted relative risk of HCC was greater for males ( hazard ratio 2.7, 95% CI: 1.7-4.2), for those aged 60 years or older ( hazard ratio 2.7, 95% CI: 1.9-4.1) compared with 50-59 years, and for those with a previous alcohol-related hospital admission ( hazard ratio 2.5, 95% CI: 1.7-3.7). The risk of individuals diagnosed with HCV developing HCC was greatly increased compared with the general Scottish population ( standardised incidence ratio 127, 95% CI: 102-156). Owing to the advancing age of the Scottish HCV-diagnosed population, the annual number of HCC cases is projected to increase, with a consequent increasing burden on the public healthcare system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)805-810
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • hepatocellular carcinoma
    • hepatitis C
    • record-linkage study
    • alcohol
    • CANCER
    • RISK

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