Chronic HCV Infection: A New Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

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Chronic HCV Infection: A New Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

People with chronic hepatitis C appear to be at an increased risk for developing heart disease.

Among the large scope of extrahepatic manifestations related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, many studies recently evaluated the frequency and characteristics of cardiovascular involvement. To assess the current published data on HCV infection and cardiovascular diseases. Published studies on cardiovascular disease, i.e. cerebrovascular accident and ischaemic heart disease in subjects with HCV infection were analysed from literature databases. Subjects with HCV chronic infection have an increased prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis and increased intima-media thickness compared to healthy controls or those with hepatitis B or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Active chronic HCV infection appears as an independent risk factor for ischaemic cerebrovascular accidents. Active chronic HCV infection is associated with increased risk of ischaemic heart disease. In some studies, successful interferon-based therapy showed a beneficial impact on the cardiovascular risk.

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