Men are more likely than women to experience early recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after curative hepatectomy, according to research published in Annals of Hepatology.

Although being male was an independent risk factor for early recurrence, there was no significant difference in late recurrence between men and women.

For this study, researchers retrospectively analyzed 1087 patients with HCC who underwent curative hepatectomy between June 2012 and June 2018 at Guangxi Medical University in China. After hepatectomy, all patients were followed every 3 months during the first year and every 6 months thereafter.


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The study included 917 men and 170 women. Men were more likely to have a body mass index of 25 kg/m2 or higher, have hepatitis B virus infection, smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol, and have diabetes. On the other hand, a higher proportion of women were aged 50 years and older, and they were more likely to have hypertension and alpha-fetoprotein levels of 400 ng/mL or greater.

Multivariate regression analysis revealed a significantly higher risk for HCC recurrence in men than in women (hazard ratio [HR], 1.48; 95% CI, 1.08-2.02; P =.014). Similarly, in a propensity score matching analysis, men had a greater risk of HCC recurrence than women (HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.09-2.31; P =.015).

Recurrence rates were 18.6% in men and 15.0% in women at 1 year, 38.2% in men and 25.7% in women at 3 years, and 49.9% in men and 35.8% in women at 5 years.

All-cause mortality rates were also higher in men than in women (P =.035). All-cause mortality rates were 4.3% in men and 2.6% in women at 1 year, 20.7% in men and 13.4% in women at 3 years, and 29.3% in men and 18.1% in women at 5 years.

Men had a higher risk of early recurrence in both univariate (odds ratio [OR], 1.81; P =.006) and multivariate (OR, 1.86; P =.006) analyses, indicating that sex was an independent risk factor for early recurrence. However, there was no significant difference in late recurrence between men and women.

Reference

Liang T, He Y, Mo S, et al. Gender disparity in hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after curative hepatectomy. Ann Hepatol. Published online March 4, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.aohep.2022.100695