Time-trends in incidence and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in Denmark: A nationwide register-based cohort study

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BACKGROUND & AIMS: There are no recent data on incidence or survival of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Denmark. We examined current HCC epidemiology.

METHODS: We used data from nationwide registries to identify all Danish citizens diagnosed with HCC in 1994-2016. We computed annual standardized incidence rates for the entire 1994-2016 period, and we compared survival for patients diagnosed in 2004-2014; data on HCC stage were available for that period alone and coded according to the TNM classification.

RESULTS: The incidence rate for 1994-2016 was 3.7 (95% CI 3.6-3.8) per 100 000 population per year. It was stable around 3.0 in 1994-2007, climbed steadily to 5.7 in 2008-2011, and remained high in 2012-2016. The proportion of non-cirrhotic patients with HCC was 21%, with a slightly decreasing time trend. Median survival time rose from 2.7 months in 2004-2006 to 7.7 months in 2013-2014, but only patients with early HCC (stage I or II HCC or a "probably early HCC") saw improvements after 2007 (confounder-adjusted mortality hazard ratio for 2013-2014 vs 2007-2009=0.67, 95% 0.50-0.90). The proportion of patients with early HCC rose from 17% in 2004-2006 to 30% in 2013-2014.

CONCLUSIONS: HCC incidence increased between 2007 and 2011. Concurrently, the HCC stage at diagnosis and patient survival improved. The likely reasons for the changes include easier access to HCC workup, changing diagnostic criteria for HCC, increased prevalence of risk factors for HCC, and improved treatment of patients with HCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLiver International
Volume37
Issue6
Pages (from-to)871-878
Number of pages8
ISSN1478-3223
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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  • Journal Article

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