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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2005 Aug;20(8):1662-9. Epub 2005 May 19.

Clinical characteristics and mortality in hepatitis C-positive haemodialysis patients: a population based study.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center 1000 West Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90509-2910, USA.



The association between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and clinical and laboratory measures in maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) patients are poorly understood.


We analyzed data from over 37,000 MHD patients who underwent MHD for at least 3 months in DaVita dialysis clinics across USA in July 2001.


The presence of HCV infection was determined using enzyme immunoassay (EIA), which was performed in 2778 MHD patients and was positive in 363 (13%) individuals. In a multivariate logistic regression model that adjusts for case-mix and available surrogates of malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome (MICS), the following were independent predictors of HCV infection: younger age, male gender, Black race, Hispanic ethnicity, higher haemoglobin, lower serum albumin, higher total iron binding capacity, higher creatinine, and higher serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT). Among receiver operating characteristics of commonly measured laboratory values in this population, the SGOT had the highest area. An SGOT > or =25 u/l had an adjusted odds ratio of 4.96 (95% confidence interval: 3.75-6.57) for HCV antibody positivity (sensitivity 50%, specificity 87%). HCV EIA positivity among MHD patients younger than 65 years was associated with 40-80% higher hazard ratio of all-cause and cardiovascular death during the 2 year follow-up (July 2001 to June 2003) after adjustment for case-mix and measures of MICS.


HCV infection, as diagnosed by EIA, has distinct racial, age and laboratory predilections in MHD patients. HCV positivity among MHD patients younger than 65 years is associated with significantly higher cardiovascular mortality. More diligent HCV detection and treatment may improve cardiovascular survival in MHD patients.

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