Habitual betel quid chewing and risk for hepatocellular carcinoma complicating cirrhosis

Jung-Fa Tsai, Jen-Eing Jeng, Lee-Yea Chuang, Mei-Shang Ho, Ying-Chin Ko, Zu-Yau Lin, Min-Yuh Hsieh, Shin-Chern Chen, Wan-Lung Chuang, Liang-Yen Wang, Ming-Lung Yu, Chia-Yen Dai
Medicine (Baltimore) 2004, 83 (3): 176-87
This case-control study aimed to assess the independent and interactive role of habitual betel quid chewing and known risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Subjects enrolled included 210 pairs of sex- and age-matched cirrhotic patients with HCC, patients with cirrhosis alone, and healthy controls. Information on risk factors was obtained through serologic examination of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV), and a standardized personal interview with a structured questionnaire. Multivariate analysis indicated that betel quid chewing (odds ratio [OR], 5.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.26-14.94); HBsAg (OR, 37.98; 95% CI, 19.65-73.42); and anti-HCV (OR, 47.23; 95% CI, 18.86-118.25) were independent risk factors for HCC when HCC patients were compared with healthy controls. Using patients with cirrhosis alone as a reference group, multivariate analysis indicated that only betel quid chewing (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.04-2.76) and HBsAg (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, l.01-2.37) were independent risk factors for HCC. There was an additive interaction between betel quid chewing and the presence of either HBsAg (synergy index, 5.22) or anti-HCV (synergy index, 1.35). Moreover, a higher risk of HCC was associated with a longer duration of betel quid chewing and a larger amount of betel quid consumed (each p(for trend) < 0.0001). In conclusion, betel quid chewing is an independent risk factor for cirrhotic HCC. There is an additive interaction between betel quid chewing and chronic hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C virus infection.

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