Late presentation of hepatitis B among patients with newly diagnosed hepatocellular carcinoma: A national cohort study

Dong Hyun Sinn, Danbee Kang, Minwoong Kang, Seung Woon Paik, Eliseo Guallar, Juhee Cho, Geum Youn Gwak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Recently, the concept of "late presentation with viral hepatitis" was introduced to help quantify the proportion of patients missing timely diagnosis and treatment for viral hepatitis. The clinical implications of late presentation of hepatitis B at the population level, however, are largely unexplored. Methods: Using newly-diagnosed hepatitis B related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients (N = 1276) from the Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort, a nationally representative cohort study was conducted between 2002 and 2013. HCC patients were classified into 3 groups: late presentation of hepatitis B (no prior clinic visits for hepatitis B before HCC diagnosis), irregular visits (irregular pattern of outpatient clinic visits), and regular visits (regular pattern of outpatient clinic visits). Results: The proportion of patients with late presentation decreased from 50.8% in 2003 to 23.1% in 2013. In multivariable analysis compared with patients in the regular visits group, patients with late presentation were more likely to be younger and to be in lower income percentiles. After adjusting for age, sex, year of HCC diagnosis, income percentile, and initial treatment, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for all-cause mortality comparing the late presentation and irregular visits groups to the regular visits group were 1.76 (1.42-2.18) and 1.31 (1.06-1.61), respectively. Conclusion: Timely diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis B related HCC was suboptimal at the population level. More intensive strategies to minimize late presentation for hepatitis B are needed, with special attention to younger people and lower income levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number286
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 29 2019


  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Late presentation
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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