This research explored whether hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection leads to the development of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Using Taiwan National Health Insurance claims data, 9023 patients newly diagnosed with HCV infection between 2000 and 2010 were identified, and 36,092 age- and sex-frequency-matched patients without HCV infection were selected randomly as the control group. The risk of ICH for patients with HCV infection and comorbidities of diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, hyperlipidemia, atrial fibrillation, alcoholic liver disorder, and head injury was evaluated at the end of 2011.
The risk of ICH was higher in the HCV cohort than in the control group, with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 1.60 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24–2.06), estimated using a multivariate Cox regression model. Age-specific analysis revealed that the risk of ICH in the HCV patients was higher in the younger groups, with aHRs of 1.92 (95% CI: 1.18–3.11) and 2.45 (95% CI: 1.52–3.98) in the ≤55 and 56 to 64 years age groups, respectively. The risk of ICH increased with the severity of HCV infection, from an aHR of 1.66 (95% CI: 1.21–2.30) in mild HCV patients to 2.12 (95% CI: 1.47–3.06) in severe HCV patients. For patients without comorbidities, the risk of ICH was 2.33 (95% CI: 1.36–3.98) higher in the HCV cohort than in the control group.
We found that HCV infection is associated with an increased risk to develop ICH, particularly in the patients with relatively younger ages.