Hepatitis C virus infection increases the risk of developing peripheral arterial disease: a 9-year population-based cohort study

Yueh-Han Hsu, Chih-Hsin Muo, Chun-Yi Liu, Wen-Chen Tsai, Chih-Cheng Hsu, Fung-Chang Sung, Chia-Hung Kao
Journal of Hepatology 2015, 62 (3): 519-25

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) development remains unclear.

METHODS: Health insurance claims data were used to construct a cohort of HCV-infected patients diagnosed during the period 1998-2011. Patients younger than 20 years and those with history of hepatitis B or PAD were excluded. We selected 7641 HCV-infected patients and 30564 matched controls. The adjusted risk of developing PAD was analyzed using a multivariate Cox hazard model.

RESULTS: The results show that the excess risk of PAD development in HCV-infected patients is 1.43-fold higher (95% CI=1.23-1.67) compared with non-HCV patients. The adjusted risk of PAD development increases with age; compared with the 20-34 year-old patients, the risk is 3.96-fold higher in HCV-infected patients aged 35-49 years, and 11.7-fold higher in those aged 65 years and above. CKD/ESRD has the highest risk for PAD (HR=1.80, 95% CI=1.29-2.53). HCV-infected patients with four comorbidities exhibit a substantially higher risk of developing PAD (HR=9.25, 95% CI=6.35-13.5). Excess risk of developing PAD is observed from the first year of follow-up till the third year.

CONCLUSION: HCV-infected patients have an independently higher risk of developing PAD. HCV-infected patients with comorbidity have increased risk of developing PAD.

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