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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jul 1;22(1):17-22.

Review article: the changing epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma in Canada.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.


The aim of this study was to examine the incidence of and mortality caused by hepatocellular carcinoma over the last 20 years in Canada, including the associated risk factors hepatitis C, diabetes and obesity. Databases from the Surveillance & Risk Assessment Division of Health Canada & Statistics Canada were analysed for trends in both age-adjusted incidence of and mortality due to hepatocellular carcinoma from 1984 to 2001. The epidemiological impact of hepatitis C, diabetes and obesity on hepatocellular carcinoma was also assessed. The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma increased from 4.0 per 100,000 in 1984 to 5.5 in 2,000 for males, and from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1984 to 2.2 in 2,000 for females. Mortality rates showed a 48% increase in males and 39% increase in females. The incidence of hepatitis C increased sharply in 1995 and remained elevated until 2,000 with an average value of 85.4 per 100,000 in males and 45.4 per 100,000 in females. This increase is likely due to the widespread testing for hepatitis C. The prevalence of obesity and diabetes has increased in recent years and probably contributes to the increased incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma. The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in Canada has increased in the past 20 years and is associated with a rise in the incidence of hepatitis C, obesity and diabetes.

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