Background: Although sex disparities in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence have been well described, there are limited data examining sex disparities in HCC prognosis. Aim: To characterise sex differences in HCC presentation and prognosis. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of consecutive patients (n = 1110, 23.5% women) diagnosed with HCC between 2008 and 2017 at two US health systems. We used Cox proportional hazard and multivariable logistic regression models to identify factors associated with overall survival, early tumour detection and response to HCC treatment (per the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [mRECIST] criteria). Results: Women were older at HCC diagnosis (mean 62.5 vs 59.2 years, P < 0.001) and had a higher proportion of early-stage tumours (53.1% vs 43.7% Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer [BCLC] stage 0/A, P = 0.04), but similar liver function compared to men (49.2% vs 47.1% Child Pugh A, P = 0.27). In univariable analysis, women had significantly better overall survival than men (median 17.1 vs 12.0 months, P = 0.02). When stratified by age, younger (<65 years) women had better overall survival than men (18.3 vs 11.2 months, P = 0.02); however, older (≥65 years) women and men had similar overall survival (15.5 vs 15.7 months, P = 0.45). In multivariable analysis, female sex was independently associated with lower mortality after adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, alpha-fetoprotein, BCLC stage, Albumin-Bilirubin (ALBI) grade and Child Pugh score (hazard ratio [HR] 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68-0.98). In secondary analyses, female sex was independently associated with early tumour detection (odds ratio [OR] 1.46, 95% CI 1.05-2.02) and response to first HCC treatment (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.18-2.53) after adjusting for the same covariates. Conclusion: In a large cohort of patients with HCC, women had significantly better prognosis than men.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)