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J Viral Hepat. 2011 Aug;18(8):571-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2010.01347.x. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Sex and age differences in lipid response to chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus in the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

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  • 1Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Low levels of serum lipids were reported in subjects chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and correlated with poorer clinical outcomes. Whether HCV 'hypo-lipidemia' is constant across age, sex and race has not been systematically explored. We therefore investigated the association between HCV infection and serum lipid levels in two independent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cohorts. HCV antibody status and serum lipid levels were obtained from 14 369 adults from NHANES 1999-2006 and 12 261 from NHANES III (enrolled in 1988-1994). In multivariable models, the prevalence of HCV-associated hypo-low density lipoprotein-cholesterol was highest among women >50 years of age in both NHANES 1999-2006 (OR: 10.51, 95% CI: 2.86, 38.62) and III (OR: 24.21, 95% CI: 6.17, 94.92), but among women <50 years of age, the odds ratios were 3.01 (95% CI: 1.00, 9.04) for NHANES 1999-2006 and 0.52 (95% CI: 0.14, 1.88) for III, respectively. HCV by age interaction among women was significant in both cohorts (P < 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively). Among men, the odds ratios of HCV-associated hypo-LDL-cholesterol were 2.74 (95% CI: 1.55, 4.85) in NHANES 1999-2006 and 3.84 (95% CI: 1.66, 8.88) in III, respectively, with no significant age effects. Similar patterns were observed for total-cholesterol, but no significantly discernable patterns for high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglycerides. Results show that HCV infection is associated with lower total- and LDL-cholesterol in two US population-based cohorts, and this relationship varies significantly by age and sex, suggesting a possible influence of sex hormones on host lipid response to HCV infection.

© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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