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J Infect Dis. 2012 Aug 15;206(4):469-77. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis385. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Chronic hepatitis C virus infection increases mortality from hepatic and extrahepatic diseases: a community-based long-term prospective study.

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Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.



The study aimed to evaluate the risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on hepatic and extrahepatic deaths.


A cohort of 23 820 adults aged 30-65 years old were enrolled during 1991-1992. The seromarkers hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), anti-HCV, and serum HCV RNA levels at study entry were tested. The vital status was ascertained through computerized linkage with national death certification profiles from 1991 to 2008.


There were 19,636 HBsAg-seronegatives, including 18,541 anti-HCV seronegatives and 1095 anti-HCV seropositives. Among anti-HCV seropositives, 69.4% had detectable serum HCV RNA levels. There were 2394 deaths that occurred during an average follow-up period of 16.2 years. Compared with anti-HCV seronegatives, anti-HCV seropositives had higher mortality from both hepatic and extrahepatic diseases, showing multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.89 (1.66-2.15) for all causes of death; 12.48 (9.34-16.66) for hepatic diseases; 1.35 (1.15-1.57) for extrahepatic diseases; 1.50 (1.10-2.03) for circulatory diseases; 2.77 (1.49-5.15) for nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis; 4.08 (1.38-12.08) for esophageal cancer; 4.19 (1.18-14.94) for prostate cancer; and 8.22 (1.36-49.66) for thyroid cancer. Anti-HCV seropositives with detectable HCV RNA levels had significantly higher mortality from hepatic and extrahepatic diseases than anti-HCV seropositives with undetectable HCV RNA.


Monitoring HCV RNA in anti-HCV seropositives is essential for the prediction of mortality associated with hepatitis C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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