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Lancet. 1978 Dec 9;2(8102):1217-9.

Hepatitis B and primary hepatocellular carcinoma in a European population.


The prevalence of serological markers of active of past hepatitis-B virus (H.B.V.) infection was determined in 80 Greek patients with primary hepatocellular carcinoma (P.H.C.), 160 age and sex matched controls and 40 patients with metastatic liver cancer (M.L.C.). The relative risk of the various patterns of H.B.V. serological markers for P.H.C. was calculated. Active H.B.V. infection, as indicated by positive tests for hepatitis-B surface antigen (HBsAg), or antibody to hepatitis-B core antigen (anti-HBc) without antibody to HBsAg) (anti-HBs), was associated with P.H.C. (relative risk 10.4) but not with M.L.C. (relative risk 1.2). Patients without markers and those who had recovered from hepatitis B (anti-HBs-positive) had approximately the same low risk for P.H.C. (relative risk 0.8). Active infection was more common in P.H.C. patients with co-existing cirrhosis than in those without cirrhosis (67% versus 26%). Thus the relationship between active hepatitis B and P.H.C. seen in African and Asian populations is now seen in a European Caucasian population with different racial, environmental, and dietary circumstances.

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