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Hepatocellular carcinoma incidence trends in Canada: analysis by birth cohort and period of diagnosis


Gaia Pocobelli, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, M3-B232 1100 Fairview Ave. N. Seattle WA 98109-1024, USA Tel: +206 667 2633 Fax: +206 667 5977


Background and Aims: We examined birth cohort and calendar period trends in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence in Canada (1976–2000). We also projected HCC incidence rates through 2015.

Patients and methods: Data were obtained from the Canadian Cancer Registry on all cases of HCC diagnosed among persons aged 20 years and older in Canada from 1976 to 2000 and was used to describe trends in HCC incidence rates.

Results: We found that age-adjusted HCC incidence rates increased faster in males compared with females, 3.4% per year [95% confidence interval (CI): 3.0–3.8%] vs 2.2% per year (95% CI: 1.5–2.8%). An increasing birth cohort trend accelerated among males around the 1940 birth cohort and decelerated among females around the 1935 birth cohort. For calendar period trends, the increasing HCC risk was relatively constant over time among males whereas there was an acceleration in HCC risk around 1988 among females. Age-adjusted HCC incidence rates were projected to increase 73% in males and 28% in females from 1996 to 2015.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that HCC incidence rates will continue to increase in Canada during the next decade as persons born in more recent birth cohorts, who face a relatively greater risk for HCC, age.