An analysis of 294 patients who died with cirrhosis showed that 24% had developed hepatocellular carcinoma. Haemochromatosis and HBsAg positive chronic active hepatitis were high risk groups (36% and 42% respectively) and the frequency was lowest in primary biliary cirrhosis and HBsAg negative chronic active hepatitis (3% and 11% respectively). Those with hepatocellular carcinoma showed a striking male preponderance (11:1) and further analysis has shown that the proportion developing this tumour in each group was closely related to the proportion of males in that group (r=0.97). Age was the only other significant factor, malignant change occurring more commonly in those over the age of 50 years than those below (30% and 7% respectively, P less than 0.005). The indluence of HBsAg was largely accounted for by the known predisposition of males to carry HBsAg. The group of patients who had developed this tumour without cirrhosis were younger (mean age 39 years) and had a lower male to female ratio of 1.1:1 and the place of contraceptive-related tumour within this group is dicussed.
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