Familial Risks for Liver, Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancers and for Their Risk Factors in Sweden, a Low-Incidence Country

Kari Hemminki, Kristina Sundquist, Jan Sundquist, Asta Försti, Vaclav Liska, Akseli Hemminki, Xinjun Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We used the Swedish Cancer Registry data to address familial risks for concordant (same) and discordant (different) hepatobiliary cancers, including their associations with any other cancers and with known risk factors. Risks were also assessed between spouses. The analysis covered Swedish families and their cancers between years 1958 and 2018. Adjusted familial risks were expressed as standardized incidence ratios (SIRs). Familial SIRs for concordant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were 2.60, and for gallbladder cancer they were at the same level (2.76). Familial risk was also found for intrahepatic bile duct cancer and for female extrahepatic bile duct cancer. HCC was associated with lung and cervical cancers; extrahepatic bile duct and ampullary cancers were associated with colon and pancreatic cancers, suggesting Lynch syndrome. Among spouses, hepatobiliary cancer was associated with HCC, stomach, pancreatic, cervical and upper aerodigestive tract cancers. Among risk factors, family members diagnosed with alcohol-related disease showed association with HCC. The observed familial risks for hepatobiliary cancers were relatively high, and considering the poor prognosis of these cancers, prevention is of the utmost importance and should focus on moderation of alcohol consumption, vaccination/treatment of hepatitis viral infections and avoidance of overweight and other risk factors of type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1938
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • alcohol
  • discordant familial risks
  • gallbladder cancer
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • risk factors
  • spouse correlation


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