The study aimed to estimate the prevalence of risk factors for liver disease, particularly hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, in a population-based series of hepatocellular carcinoma, and to assess the feasibility of retrospective surveys in determining risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma. A survey of all cases of hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosed in 1991 and 1992 documented the high contribution of alcoholic cirrhosis, particularly in Australian-born men. Low levels of testing for HBV and HCV made their contribution to hepatocellular carcinoma uncertain. No cases of hepatocellular carcinoma due to HBV or HCV were reported in Australian-born subjects. Higher rates of HBV carriage in those tested were found in Asian and Mediterranean immigrants. Testing for HCV was known to have occurred for less than a quarter of subjects, and assessment for multiple aetiological risk factors was rare. The burgeoning epidemic of HCV will require improved surveillance for the sequelae of long-term infection. Satisfactory surveillance will require cooperation from clinicians in regard to the completeness of medical records and adequate resources for cancer registries to supplement their passive reporting system with exposure data.
|Number of pages
|Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
|Published - Oct 1997