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J Clin Oncol. 2006 Nov 1;24(31):5005-9.

Hepatocellular carcinoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: the roles of HIV, hepatitis C infection, and alcohol abuse.

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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



To explore the relationship of HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), and alcohol abuse/dependence to risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).


Male veterans (n = 14,018) with a first HIV diagnosis in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System from October 1997 to September 2004; and 28,036 age-, race-, sex-, and location-matched HIV-negative veterans were identified. We examined the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and NHL and presence of HCV and alcohol abuse/dependence using International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision (ICD-9-CM) codes. HIV-positive to HIV-negative incident rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% CIs for the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma and NHL were calculated using Poisson regression models.


HIV-positive veterans were at greater risk for hepatocellular carcinoma than HIV-negative veterans (IRR = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.02 to 2.77). After adjusting for HCV infection and alcohol abuse/dependence, HIV status was not independently associated with hepatocellular cancer (IRR = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.63). HIV-positive veterans had 9.71 times (95% CI, 6.99 to 13.49) greater risk of NHL than HIV-negative veterans. After adjusting for HCV and alcohol abuse/dependence, the IRR for NHL comparing HIV-positive with HIV-negative veterans is similar (IRR = 10.03, 95% CI, 7.19 to 13.97).


HIV-positive veterans have a higher relative incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and NHL than HIV-negative veterans. For hepatocellular carcinoma, this association appears to be largely explained by the higher prevalence of HCV and alcohol abuse/dependence. Efforts to decrease hepatocellular carcinoma among persons with HIV should focus primarily on detecting and treating HCV and reducing heavy alcohol use.

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