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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Aug;38(4):415-23. doi: 10.1111/apt.12391. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Interferon-based therapy reduces risk of stroke in chronic hepatitis C patients: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan.

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1
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taipei Branch, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance and carotid atherosclerosis.

AIM:

To investigate the association between HCV infection and stroke, and the effect of interferon-based therapy (IBT) on stroke risk in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective cohort study that followed up 3113 subjects with a newly detected HCV infection and 12 452 age- and gender-matched subjects without HCV infection selected from a random sample of 10(6) beneficiaries from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Program up to 5 years. Use of IBT was defined as treatment with interferon alpha, pegylated interferon alpha-2a or pegylated interferon alpha-2b for at least 3 months. The hazard ratio (HR) for newly detected stroke was calculated for subjects with HCV compared to those without HCV, and for IBT-treated HCV patients compared to non-IBT-treated HCV patients while adjusting for possible confounding factors.

RESULTS:

The overall person-years of follow-up were 8624.11 in patients with HCV, 54,533.69 in patients without HCV, 666.65 in IBT-treated patients, and 7886.49 in nontreated patients. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for newly detected stroke was 1.23 for subjects with HCV compared to the age- and sex-matched subjects without HCV (adjusted HR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.06-1.42, P = 0.008). Moreover, use of IBT significantly reduced the risk of stroke in HCV patients (adjusted HR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.16-0.95, P = 0.039) after adjusting for known prognostic factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Interferon-based therapy may reduce the long-term risk of stroke in patients with chronic HCV infection.

PMID:
23802888
DOI:
10.1111/apt.12391
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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