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IL-18 polymorphisms influence the transcriptional activity of the IL-18 gene and associated with various diseases. However, their relationships with hepatitis B virus-related liver diseases had not reached a consensus. So we conducted this case-control study with a view to clarifying the association. We included four groups: healthy controls, chronic hepatitis B virus (CHB) carriers, liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) groups with each group of 250 persons. Odd ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) with or without adjustment were calculated. Haplotype analysis was also performed. The results showed people carrying rs187238 CG genotype had a lower risk of LC (CG vs. CC: OR = 0.59, 95%CI = 0.38–0.91, P = 0.02), while GG genotype carriers had a higher risk of HCC (GG vs. CC+CG: OR = 4.73, 95%CI = 1.01–22.1, P = 0.03) than those with CC and CG genotypes in healthy group. Rs187238 GG genotype increased the risk from CHB to LC status (GG vs. CC: OR = 4.81, 95%CI = 1.03–22.6; GG vs. CC+CG: OR = 4.73, 95%CI = 1.01–22.1), meanwhile the trend also existed by controlling confounding factors (GG vs. CC: OR = 6.25, 95%CI = 1.09–35.8; GG vs. CC+CG: OR = 5.91, 95%CI = 1.04–33.7). Haplotype Crs187238Trs1946518 moderately decreased the risk of CHB carriers developing into HCC (OR = 0.69, 95%CI = 0.50–0.96, P = 0.03) after adjustment. In conclusion, IL-18 rs187238 GG genotype may increase the risk of HCC in healthy population and the risk of LC in CHB carriers.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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