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Table 1 Patient characteristics at diagnosis by sex-specific tertiles of serum choline/betaine levels

From: Serum choline is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma survival: a prospective cohort study

 Serum cholineSerum betaine
T1T2T3P-value bT1T2T3P-value b
Age at diagnosisa, years50.2 ± 11.952.8 ± 11.553.8 ± 11.70.0051.6 ± 11.752.1 ± 12.251.6 ± 11.70.37
Men,n(%)257 (88.6)257 (88.9)256 (89.2)0.98256 (88.9)258 (89.0)256 (88.9)1.00
BMI at diagnosisa, kg/m222.5 ± 3.322.8 ± 3.222.7 ± 3.30.3422.5 ± 3.022.9 ± 3.622.5 ± 3.00.68
Education level,n(%)   0.37   0.45
 Primary school or below56 (19.4)63 (21.9)52 (18.1) 62 (21.7)48 (16.6)61 (21.2) 
 Secondary & High school168 (58.3)177 (61.5)183 (63.8) 175 (61.2)184 (63.7)169 (58.7) 
 College or above64 (22.2)48 (16.7)52 (18.1) 49 (17.1)57 (19.7)58 (20.1) 
Residence,n(%)   0.60   0.03
 Urban195 (67.2)205 (70.9)195 (67.9) 215 (74.7)192 (66.2)188 (65.3) 
 Rural95 (32.8)84 (29.1)92 (32.1) 73 (25.3)98 (33.8)100 (34.7) 
Smoking status,n(%)   0.00   0.06
 Current101 (34.8)90 (31.1)74 (25.8) 106 (36.8)81 (27.9)78 (27.1) 
 former55 (19.0)86 (29.8)100 (34.8) 71 (24.7)80 (27.6)90 (31.2) 
 Never134 (46.2)113 (39.1)113 (39.4) 111 (38.5)129 (44.5)120 (41.7) 
Alcohol drinking status,n(%)   0.57   0.73
 Current83 (28.6)75 (26.0)79 (27.5) 75 (26.0)86 (29.7)76 (26.4) 
 former39 (13.4)37 (12.8)48 (16.7) 41 (14.2)37 (12.8)46 (16.0) 
 Never168 (57.9)177 (61.2)160 (55.7) 172 (59.7)167 (57.6)166 (57.6) 
With family history of PLC,n(%)46 (15.9)33 (11.4)33 (11.5)0.1937 (12.8)39 (13.4)36 (12.5)0.94
HBV or HCV infected,n(%)269 (92.8)263 (91.0)257 (89.5)0.40254 (88.2)261 (90.0)274 (95.1)0.01
AFP ≥ 400 ng/L,n(%)112 (38.9)130 (45.0)116 (40.4)0.30124 (43.2)124 (42.9)110 (38.2)0.39
CRP ≥ 3.0 mg/L,n(%)148 (51.6)139 (48.3)149 (52.1)0.61138 (48.1)137 (47.6)161 (56.3)0.06
Presence of chronic diseases,n(%)
 Hypertension28 (9.7)44 (15.2)39 (13.6)0.1234 (11.7)33 (11.5)111 (12.8)0.31
 Diabetes mellitus19 (6.6)21 (7.3)29 (10.1)0.2530 (10.4)22 (7.6)17 (5.9)0.13
 Fatty liver44 (15.2)50 (17.3)49 (17.1)0.7564 (22.2)47 (16.2)32 (11.1)0.00
 Cirrhosis176 (60.7)186 (64.4)182 (63.4)0.64175 (60.8)176 (60.7)193 (67.0)0.20
Baseline liver damage level,n(%)   0.87   0.16
 158 (20.0)62 (21.5)52 (18.1) 60 (20.8)58 (20.0)54 (18.8) 
 2109 (37.6)109 (37.7)116 (40.4) 95 (33.0)123 (42.4)116 (40.3) 
 3123 (42.4)118 (40.8)119 (41.5) 133 (46.2)109 (37.6)118 (41.0) 
Child-Pugh class,n(%)   0.45   0.16
 A283 (97.6)286 (99.0)282 (98.3) 286 (99.3)285 (98.3)280 (97.2) 
 B7 (2.4)3 (1.0)5 (1.7) 2 (0.7)5 (1.7)8 (2.8) 
BCLC stage,n(%)   0.01   0.95
 023 (7.9)31 (10.7)28 (9.8) 25 (8.7)28 (9.7)29 (10.1) 
 A85 (29.3)80 (27.7)101 (35.2) 87 (30.2)95 (32.8)84 (29.2) 
 B20 (6.9)41 (14.2)34 (11.8) 33 (11.5)32 (11.0)30 (10.4) 
 C162 (55.9)137 (47.4)124 (43.2) 143 (49.7)135 (46.6)145 (50.3) 
Treatment,n(%)   0.61   0.18
 Liver resection132 (45.5)124 (42.9)127 (44.3) 133 (46.2)134 (46.2)116 (40.3) 
 Radiofrequency ablation31 (10.7)28 (9.7)26 (9.1) 21 (7.3)29 (10.0)35 (12.2) 
 Intervention109 (37.6)127 (43.9)121 (42.2) 121 (42.0)109 (37.6)127 (44.1) 
 Others18 (6.2)10 (3.5)13 (4.5) 13 (4.5)18 (6.2)10 (3.5) 
Serum choline (μmol/L)   < 0.001   < 0.001
 Median8.7611.7718.14 10.4811.8312.97 
 Interquartile range8.13–9.5311.03–12.5414.94–20.36 8.93–12.899.62–14.0710.37–17.11 
Serum betaine (μmol/L)   < 0.001   < 0.001
 Median59.9366.0873.65 48.1964.4983.72 
 Interquartile range47.13–70.2454.44–74.3059.08–85.95 42.13–53.3560.91–68.6077.65–94.46 
Serum folate (μmol/L)   < 0.001   0.03
 Median7.136.978.29 6.757.527 
 Interquartile range5.30–8.544.70–8.885.90–10.37 5.05–8.875.47–9.715.20–9.44) 
  1. a values are expressed as mean ± S.D.
  2. bP-values were calculated by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Kruskal-Wallis tests and Pearson’s Chi-Squared tests, where appropriate