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Association between allopurinol use and hepatocellular carcinoma in a case–control study in Taiwan
  1. Kuan-Fu Liao1,2,
  2. Cheng-Li Lin3,4,
  3. Shih-Wei Lai3,5
  1. 1College of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  3. 3College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  4. 4Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  5. 5Department of Family Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shih-Wei Lai, Department of Family Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan; wei{at}mail.cmuh.org.tw

Abstract

Background/objectives Little is known about the role of allopurinol use on the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The study aimed to examine the association between allopurinol use and HCC in Taiwan.

Methods Using the database from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Program, we designed a case–control study that consisted of 4901 subjects aged 20–84 years with newly diagnosed HCC as the case group, and 4901 subjects aged 20–84 years without HCC as the control group, from 2000 to 2013. Ever use of allopurinol was defined as a subject who had at least a prescription for allopurinol before the index date. Never use was defined as a subject who never had a prescription for allopurinol before the index date. The OR and 95% CI for HCC associated with allopurinol use was measured by the multivariable logistic regression model.

Results After adjustment for confounding factors, the adjusted OR of HCC was 0.93 (95% CI 0.81 to 1.07) for subjects with ever use of allopurinol, compared with never use. The adjusted OR of HCC was 1.01 for subjects with increasing cumulative duration of allopurinol use for every 1 year (95% CI 0.92 to 1.12), compared with never use. The adjusted OR of HCC was 0.99 for subjects with increasing cumulative dosage of allopurinol use for every 50 mg (95% CI 0.94 to 1.05), compared with never use.

Conclusions No statistical association can be detected between allopurinol use and HCC risk in Taiwan. There are no duration-dependent and dosage-dependent effects of allopurinol use on the risk of HCC.

  • case-control study
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • allopurinol
  • Taiwan
  • national health insurance program

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