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HIV Med. 2004 May;5(3):144-50.

Association of hypocholesterolaemia with hepatitis C virus infection in HIV-infected people.

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  • 1Iowa City Veterans Administration Medical Center and University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) status on serum cholesterol levels in HIV-infected patients.

METHODS:

We retrospectively analysed data from the 881 participants of the Veterans Ageing Cohort 3 Site Study. Four different models were constructed using total cholesterol, low-density lipid (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipid (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides as dependent variables. The relevant covariates included HCV antibody status, HIV medication class, CD4 count, HIV viral load, glucose level, lipid-lowering drug use, gender, race, age, liver function test results, ethanol use, drug use, and HIV exposure category. Variables excluded from the final model included niacin use, gender, race, age, current ethanol use, and HIV exposure category.

RESULTS:

Of the 881 HIV-positive patients enrolled in the study, 700 (79%) were screened for HCV antibody, with 300 (42.8%) HCV antibody positive and 400 (57.2%) HCV antibody negative. A positive HCV antibody status was independently associated with lower total cholesterol levels (P=0.001) and LDL cholesterol levels (P<0.001) but not with lower HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels. HCV-positive patients had predicted LDL levels 19 mg/dL lower than those of HCV-negative subjects. HCV infection was also associated with a decreased use of lipid-lowering medication, and protease inhibitor use was associated with increased LDL and total cholesterol levels.

CONCLUSIONS:

HCV infection has been associated with lower cholesterol levels in HIV-negative individuals, and the same appears to be true with HIV-infected patients. This is an interesting finding given that HCV particles bind to LDL receptors in vitro and also because HCV-lipid interactions appear to be important in the HCV replication cycle.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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