Hepatitis B Infection May Increase the Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

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Pancreatic cancer causes nearly 250,000 deaths every year, and some epidemiological studies have suggested that hepatitis B virus may be a potential risk factor.
Pancreatic cancer causes nearly 250,000 deaths every year, and some epidemiological studies have suggested that hepatitis B virus may be a potential risk factor.

Hepatitis B infection may increase the risk for pancreatic cancer up to 24%, according to a study published in Pancreas.1

Pancreatic cancer causes nearly 250,000 deaths every year, and some epidemiological studies have suggested that hepatitis B virus may be a potential risk factor for pancreatic cancer.2-7 Researchers identified 69,210 patients with pancreatic cancer aged 11 to 70 years from the 2013 to 2014 National Inpatient Sample (the largest all-payer publicly available inpatient health care database in the United States), of whom 175 had a history of hepatitis B virus and 69,035 did not.1 The researchers found that hepatitis B infection may increase the risk for pancreatic cancer up to 24%, with the odds of developing pancreatic cancer among patients with a history of hepatitis B infection being significantly higher than among those without a history of hepatitis B infection (P =.008).

Although length of stay and total hospital charges were higher in the group with a history of hepatitis B infection, there was no significant increment in mortality compared with the group without hepatitis B infection. Aside from hepatitis B infection, male sex, Asian and black race, higher household income, smoking, and diabetes independently increased the odds of pancreatic cancer. The researchers also found that the group with a history of hepatitis B infection compromised the greater pool of younger patients (mean age, 60.4 vs 68.2 years; P <.001) compared with the non-hepatitis B infection group.

"To our knowledge, this is the largest study to utilize the data from a large group of US hospitals and concluding that [hepatitis B virus] infection may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer up to 24%," concluded the researchers.1 They suggested that young patients with hepatitis B be kept under close supervision by clinicians, especially those with higher-risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer.

References
  1. Desai R, Patel U, Sharma S, et al. Association between hepatitis B infection and pancreatic cancer: a population-based analysis in the United States. Pancreas. 2018;47(7):849-855.
  2. Wang Y, Yang S, Song F, et al. Hepatitis B virus status and the risk of pancreatic cancer: a meta-analysis. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2013;22:328-334.
  3. Huang J, Magnusson M, Törner A, et al. Risk of pancreatic cancer among individuals with hepatitis C or hepatitis B virus infection: a nationwide study in Sweden. Br J Cancer. 2013;109:2917-2923.
  4. Iloeje UH, Yang HI, Jen CL, et al. Risk of pancreatic cancer in chronic hepatitis B virus infection: data from the REVEAL-HBV cohort study. Liver Int. 2010;30:423-429.
  5. Xu JH, Fu JJ, Wang XL, et al. Hepatitis B or C viral infection and risk of pancreatic cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. World J Gastroenterol. 2013;19:4234-4241.
  6. Ben Q, Li Z, Liu C, et al. Hepatitis B virus status and risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a case-control study from China. Pancreas. 2012;41:435-440.
  7. Hassan MM, Li D, El-Deeb AS, et al. Association between hepatitis B virus and pancreatic cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:4557-4562.

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