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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1996 Dec;20(9 Suppl):371A-377A.

Effect of alcohol intake on the efficacy of interferon therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C as evaluated by multivariate logistic regression analysis.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Saitama Medical School, Japan.


The effect of alcohol intake on the efficacy of interferon (IFN) therapy was evaluated retrospectively in patients with chronic hepatitis C diagnosed by liver histology and positive serum hepatitis C virus (HCV)-RNA. Patients included 119 given IFN therapy and 11 no IFN therapy. Serum HCV-RNA was measured 6 months after discontinuation of IFN therapy in 92 treated patients, 27.2% of whom showed disappearance of serum HCV-RNA. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that this disappearance was affected by alcohol intake, the presence of its history (p < 0.05) or cumulative alcohol consumption (kg) (p < 0.01), and serum HCV-RNA levels (p < 0.001). The odds ratio associated with serum HCV-RNA still positive at 6 months was 7.018 (95% confidence interval: 1.444-34.062) and 1.004 (1.001-1.007) for the presence of alcohol intake history and the cumulative alcohol consumption, respectively. Other predictor variables-such as sex and age of patients, history of blood transfusion, HCV genotype, histological findings of the liver, and types of IFN-had no influence on the efficacy of the therapy. Cumulative alcohol consumption showed a negative correlation with serum HCV-RNA levels pretreatment, when the outcome variable was divided into two categories based on serum HCV-RNA levels: 10(6) copy/ml or less and 10(7) copy/ml or more. Alcohol intake was positively correlated with histological extent of alcoholic fibrosis, but affected neither grading nor staging of chronic viral hepatitis. We conclude that alcohol intake was a risk factor on the efficacy of IFN therapy in chronic hepatitis C patients. This effect was independent of serum HCV-RNA levels and histological findings specific for viral hepatitis in the liver.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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