Patterns and co-occurrence of risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma in four Asian American communities: A cross-sectional study

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Objectives: To investigate risk factor patterns and the simultaneous occurrence of multiple risk factors in the viral, metabolic and lifestyle domains among Asian Americans, who have had the highest mortality rates from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Setting: Sacramento County, California, USA. Participants: Eligible participants were county residents ages 18 and older who had not been screened for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and were born in a CDC-defined endemic area or whose parent was born in that area. Of 1004 enrolled, 917 were foreign-born Chinese (130 women, 94 men), Hmong (133 women, 75 men), Korean (178 women, 90 men) or Vietnamese (136 women, 81 men) with complete risk factor data. Primary and secondary outcome measures: We tested participants for HBV and chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV); measured haemoglobin A1c and waist circumference; and recorded self-reported history of diabetes, hypertension, alcohol use and smoking status. We identified risk factor patterns using cluster analysis and estimated gender-specific age-standardised prevalence rates. Results: We identified four patterns: (1) viral (chronic HBV or HCV); (2) lifestyle (current smoker or alcohol user, no viral); (3) metabolic (≥2 metabolic, no lifestyle or viral); and (4) lower risk (≤1 metabolic, no lifestyle or viral). Vietnamese men (16.3%, 95% CI 7.4% to 25.3%) and Hmong women (15.1%, 95% CI 7.8% to 22.5%) had the highest viral pattern prevalence. Hmong women had the highest metabolic (37.8%, 95% CI 29.8% to 45.9%), and Vietnamese men the highest lifestyle (70.4%, 95% CI 59.1% to 81.7%) pattern prevalence. In multiple domains, Hmong men and women were most likely to have viral+metabolic risk factors (men: 14.4%, 95% CI 6.0% to 22.7%; women: 11.9%, 95% CI 5.6% to 18.3%); Vietnamese men were most likely to have lifestyle+viral (10.7%, 95% CI 2.7% to 18.8%), and lifestyle+metabolic but not viral (46.4%, 95% CI 34.4% to 58.5%) risk factors. Conclusions: Efforts to reduce HCC must comprehensively address multiple risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere026409
JournalBMJ open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • epidemiology
  • hepatobiliary tumours
  • preventive medicine
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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