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Gastroenterology. 2010 Mar;138(3):922-31.e1. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.10.056. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Adverse outcomes in Alaska natives who recovered from or have chronic hepatitis C infection.

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  • 1Liver Disease and Hepatitis Program, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, 4315 Diplomacy Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508, USA.



The factors associated with adverse outcome from hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are incompletely understood. To determine the incidence and risk factors associated with the development of end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and liver-related death (LRD), we conducted a retrospective/prospective population-based study in a cohort of Alaska Native persons chronically infected with HCV from 1994 to 2005.


We followed 960 persons prospectively for an average of 7.2 years and retrospectively for 12.1 years with data from medical records and serum samples. We compared data from subjects that were chronically infected with those who recovered from HCV infection, stratified by alcohol use. Survival models were used to examine factors associated with ESLD and LRD in chronically infected patients.


During prospective follow-up, 80 (8.8%) and 47 (5.2%) patients developed ESLD and LRD, respectively. In examining incidence per 100 person-years, no difference was found among heavy alcohol users in the incidence of LRD (2.28 versus 3.50; P = .34) or ESLD (3.21 versus 5.69; P = .13) in persons with chronic HCV compared with those recovered from HCV infection. In subjects that consumed <50 g alcohol/d, the incidences of LRD were 0.77 and 0.09 (P = .01) and of ESLD were 1.58 versus 0.36 (P = .002), respectively, in subjects with chronic infection versus those that recovered. Multivariate analysis showed that older age, heavy alcohol use, and HCV genotype 3 were associated with ESLD.


A history of heavy alcohol use is associated with the highest incidence of LRD and ESLD, regardless of whether patients are chronically infected or recover from HCV infection.

Copyright 2010 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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