Liver cancer has recently been defined as the third leading cause of cancer globally. Although its main aetiologies are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), alcohol, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the past decade has seen notable shifts in liver disease burden. It is known that rises in the prevalence of obesity and alcohol consumption coupled with advances in HBV and HCV treatments have significantly altered liver cancer epidemiology. Despite this, the impacts of such changes on liver cancer’s global burden remain largely undefined.
The aim of this article was to both estimate the global trends in liver cancer burden and investigate the contributions of various liver disease aetiologies between 2010 and 2019.
A 25% increase in liver cancer deaths was observed between 2010 and 2019. Global age-standardized death rates (ASDRs) for HBV- and HCV-associated liver cancer decreased, while both NASH and alcohol had the fastest growing global ASDRs. Importantly, NASH was found to be the fastest growing cause of age-adjusted liver cancer deaths worldwide and especially in the Americas. These findings highlight the urgent need for global measures targeting the metabolic risk factors underpinning NASH-associated liver cancer.