The Impact of Race on Survival After Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Diverse American Population

Patricia D. Jones, Carlos Diaz, Danlu Wang, Joselin Gonzalez-Diaz, Paul Martin, Erin Kobetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence is increasing at differential rates depending on race. We aimed to identify associations between race and survival after HCC diagnosis in a diverse American population. Methods: Using the cancer registry from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospitals, we performed retrospective analysis of 999 patients diagnosed with HCC between 9/24/2004 and 12/19/2014. We identified clinical characteristics by reviewing available electronic medical records. The association between race and survival was analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Median survival in days was 425 in Blacks, 904.5 in non-Hispanic Whites, 652 in Hispanics, 570 in Asians, and 928 in others, p < 0.01. Blacks and Asians presented at more advanced stages with larger tumors. Although Whites had increased severity of liver disease at diagnosis compared to other races, they had 36% reduced rate of death compared to Blacks, [hazard ratio (HR) 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51–0.8, p < 0.01]. After adjusting for significant covariates, Whites had 22% (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.61–0.99, p 0.04) reduced risk of death, compared to Blacks. Transplant significantly reduced rate of death; however, only 13.3% of Blacks had liver transplant, compared to 40.1% of Whites, p < 0.01. Conclusions: In this diverse sample of patients, survival among Blacks is the shortest after HCC diagnosis. Survival differences reflect a more advanced tumor stage at presentation rather than severity of underlying liver disease precluding treatment. Improving survival in minority populations, in whom HCC incidence is rapidly increasing, requires identification and modification of factors contributing to late-stage presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 23 2017


  • Disparities
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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