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Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO

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AASLD 2022: Updated U.S. Trends in Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Race and Ethnicity

By: Emily Rhode
Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2022

A recent examination of an expanded data set from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program has revealed new secular trends and demographic differences in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma between 2000 and 2019 in adults aged 20 and older. Although previous studies showed an overall decline in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma except in the Black and American Indian/Alaska Native populations, this new research from Thomas R. O’Brien, MD, MPH, of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues showed that the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma is decreasing across all U.S. racial and ethnic populations. However, the study authors concluded, “the onset of decline varied markedly by race/ethnicity. Compared to the White non-Hispanic population, hepatocellular carcinoma rates remained much higher in all other groups.” These recent findings were presented at the 2022 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Annual Meeting (Abstract 5019).

The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma per 100,000 person-years first increased from 5.56 in 2000 to 8.89 in 2009 (annual percentage change [APC] = 5.17% per year). Rates rose to 10.03 in 2015 (APC = 2.28%) and then began declining, reaching 9.20 in 2019 (APC = –2.26%). Both in men and women, there was a decline in hepatocellular carcinoma rates over the study period. In 2011, rates began to fall for those between the ages of 20 and 54 and in 2014, for those between the ages of 55 and 64. No decrease was seen in older age groups.

For White and Hispanic populations, there was a decline in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in 2014; as for Black and American Indian/Alaska Native populations, these rates did not begin to fall until 2016. The decline in the incidence in American Indian/Alaska Native population (APC 2016–2019 = –8.34%) was not statistically significant.

Overall rates of hepatocellular carcinoma as of 2019 were 6.94 for the White population, 10.74 for the Black population, 12.11 for the Asian/Pacific Islander population, 14.56 for the American Indian/Alaska Native population, and 15.48 for the Hispanic population.

Disclosure: To view Dr. O’Brien’s disclosures, visit aasld.org.


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