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A record-linkage study of the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in persons with hepatitis C infection in Scotland

McDonald, S.A. and Hutchinson, S.J. and Bird, S.M. and Robertson, C. and Mills, P.R. and Dillon, J.F. and Goldberg, D.J. and , Chief Scientist Office (Funder) and , Medical Research Council (Funder) (2008) A record-linkage study of the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in persons with hepatitis C infection in Scotland. British Journal of Cancer, 99. pp. 805-810. ISSN 0007-0920

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We investigated trends in first time hospital admissions and deaths attributable to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in a large population based cohort of 22 073 individuals diagnosed with hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection through laboratory testing in Scotland in 1991 2006. We identified new cases of HCC through record linkage to the national inpatient hospital discharge database and deaths registry. A total of 172 persons diagnosed with HCV were admitted to hospital or died with first time mention of HCC. Hepatocellular carcinoma incidence increased between 1996 and 2006 (average annual change of 6.1, 95% confidence interval (CI):0.9 11.6%, P¼0.021). The adjusted relative risk of HCC was greater for males (hazard ratio¼2.7, 95% CI: 1.7 4.2), for those aged 60 years or older (hazard ratio¼2.7, 95% CI: 1.9 4.1) compared with 50 59 years, and for those with a previous alcohol related hospital admission (hazard ratio¼2.5, 95% CI: 1.7 3.7). The risk of individuals diagnosed with HCV developing HCC was greatly increased compared with the general Scottish population (standardised incidence ratio¼127, 95% CI: 102 156). Owing to the advancing age of the Scottish HCV diagnosed population, the annual number of HCC cases is projected to increase, with a consequent increasing burden on the public healthcare system.