Hepatitis B virus infection and the risk of cancer among the Chinese population

Ting Tian, Ci Song, Longfeng Jiang, Jingjing Dai, Yuan Lin, Xin Xu, Chengxiao Yu, Zijun Ge, Yuqing Ding, Yang Wen, Bo Liu, Yuyun Shao, Ping Shi, Chuanlong Zhu, Yuan Liu, Shenqi Jing, Zhongmin Wang, Zhibin Hu, Jun Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between hepatitis B virus (HBV) and nonhepatocellular cancers remains inconclusive. This large case-control study aimed to assess the associations between HBV infection status and multiple cancers. Cases (n = 50 392) and controls (n = 11 361) were consecutively recruited from 2008 to 2016 at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University. Multivariable adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated using logistic regression by adjusting age and gender. A meta-analysis based on published studies was also performed to verify the associations. Of these, 12.1% of cases and 5.5% of controls were hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seropositive. We observed significant associations between HBsAg seropositivity and esophagus cancer (aOR [95% CI] = 1.32 [1.13-1.54]), stomach cancer (1.46 [1.30-1.65]), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; 39.11 [35.08-43.59]), intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile duct carcinoma (ICC and ECC; 3.83 [2.58-5.67] and 1.72 [1.28-2.31]), pancreatic cancer (PaC; 1.37 [1.13-1.65]), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL; 1.88 [1.61-2.20]) and leukemia (11.48 [4.05-32.56]). Additionally, compared to participants with HBsAg−/anti-HBs−/anti-HBc−, participants with HBsAg−/anti-HBs−/anti-HBc+, indicating past HBV-infected, had an increased risk of esophagus cancer (aOR [95% CI] = 1.46 [1.24-1.73]), stomach cancer (1.20 [1.04-1.39]), HCC (4.80 [3.95-5.84]) and leukemia (15.62 [2.05-119.17]). Then the overall meta-analysis also verified that HBsAg seropositivity was significantly associated with stomach cancer (OR [95% CI] = 1.23 [1.14-1.33]), ICC (4.05 [2.78-5.90]), ECC (1.73 [1.30-2.30]), PaC (1.26 [1.09-1.46]), NHL (1.95 [1.55-2.44]) and leukemia (1.54 [1.26-1.88]). In conclusion, both our case-control study and meta-analysis confirmed the significant association of HBsAg seropositivity with stomach cancer, ICC, ECC, PaC, NHL and leukemia. Of note, our findings also suggested that the risk of stomach cancer elevated for people whoever exposed to HBV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3075-3084
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • cancer
  • case-control study
  • hepatitis B virus
  • meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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