Healthcare disparities in Asians and Pacific Islanders with hepatocellular cancer

Published:January 09, 2012DOI:



      Hawaii has the highest incidence of hepatocellular cancer (HCC) in the United States and the largest proportion of Asians and Pacific Islanders. HCC studies generally combine these groups into 1 ethnicity, and we sought to examine differences between Asian and Pacific Islander subpopulations.


      Demographic, clinical, and treatment data for 617 patients with HCC (420 Asians, 114 whites, and 83 Pacific Islanders) were reviewed. Main outcome measures included HCC screening and liver transplantation.


      Asian and Pacific Islander subgroups had significantly more immigrants, and age was different between groups. Compared with whites, Pacific Islanders and Filipinos had less HCC screening and liver transplantation procedures, fewer met Milan criteria, and a smaller proportion of those with Milan criteria actually underwent transplantation.


      There were significant differences in risk factors, clinical presentation, treatment, and access to care among Asian, Pacific Islander, and white patients with HCC. Future HCC studies may benefit from differentiating subgroups within Asian and Pacific Islander populations to better focus these efforts.


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