, Volume 58, Issue 10, pp 2817-2825
Date: 29 Jun 2013

United States Women Receive More Curative Treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Than Men

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Previous database studies have found gender disparities favoring men in rates of liver transplantation, which resolve in cohorts examining only patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


Our study aims to use two large, multicenter United States (US) databases to assess for gender disparity in HCC treatment regardless of transplant listing status.


We performed a retrospective database analysis of inpatient admission data from the University Health Consortium (UHC) and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), over a 9- and 10-year period, respectively. Adults with a primary discharge diagnosis of HCC, identified using the International Classification of Diseases 9th Edition (ICD-9) code, were included. Series of univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to examine gender disparities in metastasis, liver decompensation, treatment type, and inpatient mortality after controlling for other possible predictors.


We included 26,054 discharges from the NIS database and 25,671 patients from the UHC database in the analysis. Women with HCC appear to present less often with decompensated liver disease (OR = 0.79, p < 0.001). Furthermore they are more likely to receive invasive HCC treatment, with significantly higher rates of resection across race and diagnoses (OR = 1.34 and 1.44, p < 0.001). Univariate analyses show that US women have lower unadjusted rates of transplant; however, the disparity resolves after controlling for other clinical and demographic factors.


US women more often receive invasive treatment for HCC (especially resection) than US men with no observed disparity in transplantation rates when adjusted for pre-treatment variables.