Hepatitis C May Increase Risk of Heart Disease

Positive hepatitis C infection may increase risk for liver damage as well as future heart problems, according to findings published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.  

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine evaluated almost 1,000 men aged 40 to 70 years with or without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), of which 87 also had hepatitis C in order to measure associations between hepatitis C with coronary atherosclerosis. About 750 men participating in the study also underwent CT angiography. The participants, who did not have overt existing heart disease, were recruited from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, a larger study focused on men who have sex with men.

Prior research demonstrated that people with HIV already have an elevated risk for heart disease, but the researchers believe their findings here offer strong support for hepatitis C also contributing to cardiovascular damage independent of HIV status.

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