Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 Aug;108(8):1314-21. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.160. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Population-attributable fractions of risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States.

Author information

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.



Risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) include hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV), excessive alcohol consumption, rare genetic disorders and diabetes/obesity. The population attributable fractions (PAF) of these factors, however, have not been investigated in population-based studies in the United States.


Persons ≥68 years diagnosed with HCC (n=6,991) between 1994 and 2007 were identified in the SEER-Medicare database. A 5% random sample (n=255,702) of persons residing in SEER locations were selected for comparison. For each risk factor, odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) and PAFs were calculated.


As anticipated, the risk of HCC was increased in relationship to each factor: HCV (OR 39.89, 95% CI: 36.29-43.84), HBV (OR 11.17, 95% CI: 9.18-13.59), alcohol-related disorders (OR 4.06, 95% CI: 3.82-4.32), rare metabolic disorders (OR 3.45, 95% CI: 2.97-4.02), and diabetes and/or obesity (OR 2.47, 95% CI: 2.34-2.61). The PAF of all factors combined was 64.5% (males 65.6%; females 62.2%). The PAF was highest among Asians (70.1%) and lowest among black persons (52.4%). Among individual factors, diabetes/obesity had the greatest PAF (36.6%), followed by alcohol-related disorders (23.5%), HCV (22.4%), HBV (6.3%) and rare genetic disorders (3.2%). While diabetes/obesity had the greatest PAF among both males (36.4%) and females (36.7%), alcohol-related disorders had the second greatest PAF among males (27.8%) and HCV the second greatest among females (28.1%). Diabetes/obesity had the greatest PAF among whites (38.9%) and Hispanics (38.1%), while HCV had the greatest PAF among Asians (35.4%) and blacks (34.9%). The second greatest PAF was alcohol-related disorders in whites (25.6%), Hispanics (30.1%) and blacks (and 18.5%) and HBV in Asians (28.5%).


The dominant risk factors for HCC in the United States among persons ≥68 years differ by sex and race/ethnicity. Overall, eliminating diabetes/obesity could reduce the incidence of HCC more than the elimination of any other factor.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center