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Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Associated Clinical Features in Latino and Caucasian Patients from a Single Center

Gabriela N. Kuftinec, Robert Levy, Dorothy A. Kieffer, Valentina Medici

Abstract

Introduction and aim. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer in adults and has seen a rapid increase in incidence in the United States. Racial and ethnic differences in HCC incidence have been observed, with Latinos showing the greatest increase over the past four decades, highlighting a concerning health disparity. The goal of the present study was to compare the clinical features at the time of diagnosis of HCC in Latino and Caucasian patients. Material and methods. We retrospectively screened a total of 556 charts of Latino and Caucasian patients with HCC. Results. The mean age of HCC diagnosis was not significantly different between Latinos and Caucasians, but Latinos presented with higher body mass index (BMI). Rates of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia were similar in the two groups. The most common etiology of liver disease was alcohol drinking in Latinos, and chronic hepatitis C in Caucasian patients. Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) was the associated diagnosis in 8.6% of Latinos and 4.7% of Caucasians. Interestingly, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels at time of diagnosis were higher in Latino patients compared to Caucasians, but this difference was evident only in male patients. Multifocal HCC was slightly more frequent in Latinos, but the two groups had similar cancerous vascular invasion. Latino patients also presented with higher rates of both ascites and hepatic encephalopathy. Conclusion. Latino and Caucasian patients with HCC present with a different profile of etiologies, but cancer features appear to be more severe in Latinos.

Key words. Cirrhosis, Alcoholic cirrhosis, Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Ethnicity

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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