Increased incidence of cancer and cancer-related mortality among persons with chronic hepatitis C infection, 2006-2010

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Journal of Hepatology


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Persons chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be at higher risk for developing and dying from non-liver cancers than the general population.

METHODS: 12,126 chronic HCV-infected persons in the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS) contributed 39,984 person-years of follow-up from 2006 to 2010 and were compared to 133,795,010 records from 13 Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEER) cancer registries, and approximately 12 million U.S. death certificates from Multiple Cause of Death (MCOD) data. Measurements included standardized rate ratios (SRR) and relative risk (RR).

RESULTS: The incidence of the following cancers was significantly higher among patients with chronic HCV infection: liver (SRR, 48.6 [95% CI, 44.4-52.7]), pancreas (2.5 [1.7-3.2]), rectum (2.1 [1.3-2.8]), kidney (1.7 [1.1-2.2]), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (1.6 [1.2-2.1]), and lung (1.6 [1.3-1.9]). Age-adjusted mortality was significantly higher among patients with: liver (RR, 29.6 [95% CI, 29.1-30.1]), oral (5.2 [5.1-5.4]), rectum (2.6 [2.5-2.7]), NHL (2.3 [2.2-2.31]), and pancreatic (1.63 [1.6-1.7]) cancers. The mean ages of cancer diagnosis and cancer-related death were significantly younger among CHeCS HCV cohort patients compared to the general population for many cancers.

CONCLUSIONS: Incidence and mortality of many types of non-liver cancers were higher, and age at diagnosis and death younger, in patients with chronic HCV infection compared to the general population.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Age Factors; Aged; Cause of Death; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Hepatitis C, Chronic; Humans; Incidence; Male; Middle Aged; Neoplasms; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; SEER Program; Survival Rate; United States

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