Infection With Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 3 Is an Independent Risk Factor for End-Stage Liver Disease, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, and Liver-Related Death

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Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS

Few studies have examined factors associated with disease progression in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We examined the association of 11 risk factors with adverse outcomes in a population-based prospective cohort observational study of Alaska Native/American Indian persons with chronic HCV infection.

METHODS

We collected data from a population-based cohort study of liver-related adverse outcomes of infection in American Indian/Alaska Native persons with chronic HCV living in Alaska, recruited from 1995 through 2012. We calculated adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for end-stage liver disease (ESLD; presence of ascites, esophageal varices, hepatic encephalopathy, or coagulopathy), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and liver-related death using a Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS

We enrolled 1080 participants followed up for 11,171 person-years (mean, 10.3 person-years); 66%, 19%, and 14% were infected with HCV genotypes 1, 2, and 3, respectively. On multivariate analysis, persons infected with HCV genotype 3 had a significantly increased risk of developing all 3 adverse outcomes. Their aHR for ESLD was 2.1 (95% CI, 1.5–3.0), their aHR for HCC was 3.1 (95% CI, 1.4–6.6), and their aHR for liver-related death was 2.4 (95% CI, 1.5–4.0) compared with genotype 1. Heavy alcohol use was an age-adjusted risk factor for ESLD (aHR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.6–3.2), and liver-related death (aHR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.8–4.6). Obesity was a risk factor for ESLD (aHR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0–1.9), and diabetes was a risk factor for ESLD (aHR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1–2.2). Male sex was a risk factor for HCC (aHR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.6–8.2).

CONCLUSIONS

In a population-based cohort study of American Indian/Alaska Native persons with chronic HCV infection, we found those infected with HCV genotype 3 to be at high risk for ESLD, HCC, and liver-related death.

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