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J Viral Hepat. 2008 Jul;15(7):531-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2008.00979.x. Epub 2008 Apr 4.

Hepatocellular carcinoma and other primary liver cancers in hepatitis C patients in Sweden - a low endemic country.

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Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to assess the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and other primary liver cancers (PLC) in the nationwide cohort of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients in Sweden. The basis was the total HCV-cohort notified in 1990-2004, after excluding 3238 people also reported with hepatitis B, the study cohort consisted of 36 126 people contributing an observation time of 246 105 person-years. The most common route of transmission was intravenous drug use (57%). The national Cancer Registry was used for follow-up, and 354 developed PLC (mainly HCC), of whom 234 were eligible for statistical analysis. The PLC incidence in the HCV cohort was compared with the incidence in the general population, and a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was calculated for six different strata according to estimated duration of infection. The highest relative risk, SIR: 46 (95% CI: 36-56) was found in the stratum 25-30 years with HCV infection and SIR: 40 (95% CI: 31-51) in the stratum 30-35 years with infection. In the entire community-based HCV cohort in Sweden we found a highly increased risk of liver cancer compared to the general population. The highest relative risk was among people who had been infected for more than 25 years.

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