Driven by declining liver mortality rates among Asians and Pacific Islanders and middle-aged men, incidence rates for hepatocellular cancer did not significantly increase in the US during a recent 11-year period, according to study results.
Using data from 18 Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results registries, researchers analyzed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence, and they also examined liver cancer mortality results drawn from the National Center for Health Statistics. Researchers determined that HCC incidence rates did not significantly increase between 2007 and 2010 (2.3% per year), compared with 2000 to 2010 when the incidence significantly increased by 5.4% annually. They also observed an increase in liver cancer mortality rates from 2007 to 2010.
“After decades of statistically significant increasing HCC incidence rates, during 2007 to 2010 the trend was no longer statistically significant,” the researchers wrote. “The change was partly explained by decreasing incidence rates among Asians/Pacific Islanders, the racial group most affected by HCC, and among men aged 35 to 49 years.”
- HCC incidence and mortality rates only increased among men who were black, Hispanic or white, aged 50 years and older, and among women in these population subgroups. The most pronounced increases were among individuals aged 50 to 64 years.
- From 2000 to 2010, age- and gender-specific incidence and mortality rates were stable or decreased among Asians/Pacific Islanders.
- Black and Hispanic individuals aged 50 to 64 years surpassed Asians/Pacific Islanders in HCC incidence and mortality rates.
- Washington, DC (6.8), Louisiana (6.4), Mississippi (6) and Texas (6) had the greatest age-adjusted rates per 100,000 people for liver cancer mortality in the US from 2006 to 2010. North Dakota had the lowest (2.3).
“Decreasing mortality rates among adult men aged 35 to 49 years and Asians/Pacific Islanders suggest that the peak of the [HCC] epidemic may be near or have passed,” the investigators concluded. “Findings of geographically variable liver cancer mortality rates may help target affected areas.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.