WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2000 to 2015, there was an increase in liver cancer mortality, which was mainly seen in less educated individuals, according to a study published online April 8 in Cancer.

Jiemin Ma, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends in death rates from liver cancer by education and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection status among individuals aged 25 to 74 years during 2000 to 2015.

The researchers found that the overall liver cancer death rate (per 100,000 persons) increased from 2000 to 2015, from 7.5 to 11.2 in men and from 2.8 to 3.8 in women. For women, the increase was generally steeper in less educated groups, while for men, the increase was confined to those with ≤15 years of education. Until 2006, the relative disparity increased among women and then levelled off, while in men, it continued to increase from 3.49 to 7.74; the increase was more pronounced for HCV-related liver cancer than HCV-unrelated liver cancer.

“To our knowledge, this study is among the first to examine the recent trends in liver cancer death rates by individual-level education and by HCV-infection status,” Ma said in a statement. “Our findings underscore the need for enhanced and targeted efforts in lower socioeconomic groups to halt and reverse the undue growing burden of liver cancer.”

The authors are employed by the American Cancer Society and work in a department which received a grant from Merck.

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