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Cancer Epidemiol. 2013 Feb;37(1):34-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2012.10.008. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Primary liver cancer incidence and survival in ethnic groups in England, 2001-2007.

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King's College London, Thames Cancer Registry, 1st Floor Capital House, 42 Weston Street, London SE1 3QD, UK.



The patterns of primary liver cancer incidence and survival are not known for detailed ethnic groups within the UK.


Data on patients resident in England diagnosed with primary liver cancer (ICD-10 C22) between 2001 and 2007 were extracted from the National Cancer Data Repository. Age-standardised incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated for different ethnic groups separately for males and females, using the White ethnic groups as baselines. Overall survival was analysed using Cox regression, adjusting sequentially for age, socioeconomic deprivation and co-morbidity.


Ethnicity data were available for 75% (13,139/17,458) of primary liver cancer patients. Compared with the White male baseline, Chinese males had the highest IRR. Black African, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian men also had statistically significant high IRRs. Black Caribbean men had a marginally elevated incidence rate compared with White men. In comparison with White women, Pakistani women had the highest IRR. Bangladeshi, Chinese, Black African and Indian women also had high IRRs. As observed in men, Black Caribbean women had an incidence rate closer to that of White women. Pakistani men and women, Black African women and Chinese men had statistically significantly better survival compared with their White counterparts.


The variation found in the incidence of primary liver cancer, could be due to established risk factors such as hepatitis B and C infection being more prevalent among certain ethnic groups. Country of birth, age at migration and length of stay in England are likely to be important factors in this disease, and future research should examine these where possible.

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