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Ann Oncol. 2011 Jun;22(6):1435-42. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq592. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

Population attributable fraction of infection-related cancers in Korea.

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  • 1Cancer Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Management, National Cancer Center, Goyang-si, Korea.



A number of infectious agents have been classified as human carcinogens. The purpose of the current study was to provide an evidence-based assessment of the burden of infection-related cancers in the Korean population.


The population attributable fraction was calculated using infection prevalence data from 1990 or earlier, relative risk estimates from meta-analyses using mainly Korean studies and national data on cancer incidence and mortality for the year 2007.


The fractions of all cancers attributable to infection were 25.1% and 16.8% for cancer incidence in men and women, and 25.8% and 22.7% of cancer mortality in men and women, respectively. Among infection-related cancers, Helicobacter pylori was responsible for 56.5% of cases and 45.1% of deaths, followed by hepatitis B virus (HBV) (23.9% of cases and 37.5% of deaths) and human papillomavirus (HPV) (11.3% of cases and 6% of deaths) and then by hepatitis C virus (HCV) (6% of cases and 9% of deaths). Over 97% of infection-related cancers were attributable to infection with H. pylori, HBV, HCV and HPV.


Up to one-quarter of cancer cases and deaths would be preventable through appropriate control of infectious agents in Korea.

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