Association Between Race/Ethnicity and Insurance Status with Outcomes in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Steve Scaglione, William Adams, Allyce Caines, Pauline Devlin, Sahil Mittal, Amit G. Singal, Neehar D. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Racial/ethnic disparities in prognosis have been reported in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, few studies have evaluated racial/ethnic disparities in the context of insurance status. Aims: Characterize racial/ethnic and insurance status in early tumor detection, receipt of curative therapy and overall survival in a multicenter diverse cohort of HCC patients from the USA. Study: We included patients with HCC diagnosed between June 2012 and May 2013 at four centers in the USA. Generalized linear mixed effects models were used to compare early tumor detection (defined using Milan Criteria) and curative treatment receipt (liver transplantation, surgical resection, or local ablation) as a function of patient race/ethnicity and insurance status. A multivariable frailty survival model was used to compare risk of death between patient groups. Results: Of 379 HCC patients (52.8% non-Hispanic White, 19.5% Hispanic White, 19.8% Black), 46.4% and 48.0% were found at an early stage and underwent curative therapy, respectively, and median overall survival of the cohort was 25.7 months. Early detection of HCC was associated with gastroenterology subspecialty care and receipt of HCC surveillance but not race/ethnicity or insurance status in adjusted models. However, commercial insurance was significantly associated with higher odds of curative treatment receipt, which in turn was the strongest correlate for overall survival. After adjusting for health system and insurance status, race/ethnicity was not associated with curative treatment receipt or overall survival. Conclusions: Insurance status and access to gastroenterology subspecialty care may be important drivers of racial/ethnic disparities in prognosis among HCC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1669-1678
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Disparities
  • Insurance
  • Liver cancer
  • Racial
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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