Objective: To analyze longitudinal trends in the incidence, etiology, and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in community residents in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and their survival. Patients and Methods: Olmsted County residents 20 years or older with HCC newly diagnosed from January 1, 1976, through December 31, 2008, were identified using a community-wide medical record linkage system (Rochester Epidemiology Project). The incidence rate of HCC was calculated by age and sex according to the 2000 US Census population. Temporal trends of HCC etiology, treatment, and patient survival were assessed. Results: The age- and sex-adjusted incidence rate for HCC in Olmsted County was 3.5 per 100,000 person-years for the first era (1976-1990), 3.8 per 100,000 for the second era (1991-2000), and 6.9 per 100,000 for the third era (2001-2008). Alcohol use was the most common risk factor in the first and second eras and chronic hepatitis C virus in the third. The proportion attributed to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was small (5/47 [10.6%] in the third era). Because the proportion of patients receiving curative treatment increased over time, survival also improved, with a median survival time of 3, 6, and 9 months in the first, second, and third eras, respectively (P=.01). Conclusion: In this midwestern US community, the incidence of HCC has increased, primarily due to hepatitis C virus. Although there was a demonstrable improvement in the outcome of HCC in community residents over time, the overall prognosis remains poor.
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