Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
Since the mid-1980s, the burden of liver cancer in the United States has doubled, with 31,411 new cases and 24,698 deaths occurring in 2014. Foreign-born individuals may be more likely to die of liver cancer than individuals in the general US-born population because of higher rates of hepatitis B infection, a low socioeconomic position, and language barriers that limit the receipt of early cancer detection and effective treatment.
To determine whether liver cancer mortality rates were higher among foreign-born individuals versus US-born individuals in the United States, population-based cancer mortality data were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual population estimates were obtained from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Age-adjusted mortality rates and rate ratios (RRs) for liver cancer stratified by birth place were calculated, and the average annual percent change (AAPC) was used to evaluate trends.
A total of 198,557 deaths from liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer were recorded during 2005-2014, and 16% occurred among foreign-born individuals. Overall, foreign-born individuals had a 24% higher risk of liver cancer mortality than US-born individuals (RR, 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.22-1.25). Foreign-born individuals did not have any significant changes in liver cancer mortality rates overall, but among US-born individuals, liver cancer mortality rates significantly increased (AAPC, 2.7; 95% CI, 2.1-3.3).
Efforts that address the major risk factors for liver cancer are needed to help to alleviate the health disparities observed among foreign-born individuals and reverse the increasing trend observed in the US-born population.