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Epidemiology and policy
SP3-50 Serum hepatocyte growth factor levels and mortalities from cancer in apparently healthy general population
  1. M Otsuka1,
  2. H Adachi2,
  3. Y Hirai1,
  4. M Enomoto1,
  5. A Fukami1,
  6. S I Kumagae1,
  7. Y Nanjo1,
  8. K Yoshikawa1,
  9. E Esaki1,
  10. E Kumagai1,
  11. K Yokoi1,
  12. K Ogata1,
  13. E Tsukagawa1,
  14. A Kasahara1,
  15. K Murayama1,
  16. T Imaizumi1
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
  2. 2Department of Community Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan


Introduction Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is elevated in patients with cancer and is a predictor for prognosis. We investigated whether slight elevation of serum HGF level was a marker for subclinical cancer and death in a general population.

Methods Apparently healthy 1492 subjects had a health examination in 1999. Subjects with a history of liver disease or malignancies were excluded by a questionnaire. Finally, we measured plasma HGF levels in 1470 subjects. They were followed-up periodically for 10 years. The follow-up rate was 99.3%. We calculated mortalities from cancer by multivariate proportional hazards model.

Results At follow-up, 169 subjects had died (61 from cancer, 32 from cerebro-cardiovascular disease and 76 from others). The mean HGF level at baseline was significantly (p<0.01) higher among subjects who died than those who survived (0.26±0.11 vs 0.23±0.09 ng/ml). In a Cox proportional hazard model, age, systolic blood pressure, HGF (HR 1.270; 95% CI 1.059 to 1.523; p=0.009), low albumin and smoking were independent predictors for death from all causes. Age, HGF (HR 1.309; 95% CI 1.042 to 1.654; p=0.02) and low cholesterol were independent predictors for cancer death.

Conclusion Slight elevation of HGF may be an early marker of subclinical cancer.

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