A case-control study of hepatitis C virus and its interaction with hepatitis B virus on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States of America

Manal Metwally Hassan, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objective. The aim of this study was to assess the independent risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The independent risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV), its interaction with hepatitis C virus and the association with other risk factors were examined. Methods. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted between January 1994 and December 1995. We enrolled 115 pathologically confirmed HCC patients and 230 nonliver cancer controls, who were matched by age ($\pm$5 years), gender, and year of diagnosis. Both cases and controls were recruited from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at Houston. The risk factors were collected through personal interviews and blood samples were tested for HCV and HBV markers. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed through conditional logistic regression. The prevalence of anti-HCV positive is 25.2% in HCC cases compared to 3.0% in controls. The univariate analysis showed that anti-HCV, HBsAg, alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking were significantly associated with HCC, however, family history of cancer, occupational chemical exposure, and use of oral contraceptive were not. Multivariate analysis revealed a matched odds ratio (OR) of 10.1 (95% CI 3.7-27.4) for anti-HCV, and an OR of 11.9 (95% CI 2.5-57.5) for HBsAg. However, dual infection of HCV and HBV had only a thirteen times increase in the risk of HCC, OR = 13.9 (95% CI 1.3-150.6). The estimated population attributable risk percent was 23.4% for HCV, 12.6% for HBV, and 5.3% for both viruses. Ever alcohol drinkers was positively associated with HCC, especially among daily drinkers, matched OR was 5.7 (95% CI 2.1-15.6). However, there was no significant increase in the risk of HCC among smokers as compared to nonsmokers. The mean age of HCC patients was significantly younger among the HBV(+) group and among the HCV(+)/HBV(+) group, when compared to the group of HCC patients with no viral markers. The association between past histories of blood transfusion, acupuncture, tattoo and IVDU was highly significant among the HCV(+) group and the HBV(+)/HCV(+) group, as compared to HCC patients with no viral markers. Forty percent of the HCC patients were pathologically or clinically diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. Anti-HCV(+) (OR = 3.6 95% CI 1.5-8.9) and alcohol drinking (OR = 2.7 95% CI 1.1-6.7), but not HBsAg, are the major risk factors for liver cirrhosis in HCC patients. Conclusion. Both hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus were independent risk factors for HCC. There was not enough evidence to determine the interaction between both viruses. Only daily alcoholic drinkers showed increasing risk for HCC development, as compared to nondrinkers.

Subject Area

Public health|Surgery|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Hassan, Manal Metwally, "A case-control study of hepatitis C virus and its interaction with hepatitis B virus on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States of America" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9700042.