Infection With Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 3 Is an Independent Risk Factor for End-Stage Liver Disease, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, and Liver-Related Death

Brian J McMahon, Dana Bruden, Lisa Townshend-Bulson, Brenna Simons, Phillip Spradling, Stephen Livingston, James Gove, Annette Hewitt, Julia Plotnik, Chriss Homan, Hannah Espera, Susan Negus, Mary Snowball, Youssef Barbour, Michael Bruce, Prabhu Gounder
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2017, 15 (3): 431-437.e2

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Few studies have examined factors associated with disease progression in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We examined the association of 11 risk factors with adverse outcomes in a population-based prospective cohort observational study of Alaska Native/American Indian persons with chronic HCV infection.

METHODS: We collected data from a population-based cohort study of liver-related adverse outcomes of infection in American Indian/Alaska Native persons with chronic HCV living in Alaska, recruited from 1995 through 2012. We calculated adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for end-stage liver disease (ESLD; presence of ascites, esophageal varices, hepatic encephalopathy, or coagulopathy), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and liver-related death using a Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS: We enrolled 1080 participants followed up for 11,171 person-years (mean, 10.3 person-years); 66%, 19%, and 14% were infected with HCV genotypes 1, 2, and 3, respectively. On multivariate analysis, persons infected with HCV genotype 3 had a significantly increased risk of developing all 3 adverse outcomes. Their aHR for ESLD was 2.1 (95% CI, 1.5-3.0), their aHR for HCC was 3.1 (95% CI, 1.4-6.6), and their aHR for liver-related death was 2.4 (95% CI, 1.5-4.0) compared with genotype 1. Heavy alcohol use was an age-adjusted risk factor for ESLD (aHR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.6-3.2), and liver-related death (aHR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.8-4.6). Obesity was a risk factor for ESLD (aHR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0-1.9), and diabetes was a risk factor for ESLD (aHR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.2). Male sex was a risk factor for HCC (aHR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.6-8.2).

CONCLUSIONS: In a population-based cohort study of American Indian/Alaska Native persons with chronic HCV infection, we found those infected with HCV genotype 3 to be at high risk for ESLD, HCC, and liver-related death.

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