Hepatitis C Virus Linked With Carotid Plaque
A DGReview of :"Association between hepatitis C virus
core protein and
By Anne MacLennan
Hepatitis C virus core protein positivity is an independent
of carotid plaque, researchers in Japan have found.
This finding strengthens the possibility persistent hepatitis
C virus (Hepatitis C Virus) infection and carotid atherosclerosis (CA) are linked in
patients without severe liver dysfunction, says this report
Center for Multiphasic Health Testing and Services, Mitsui
That there is an association between certain infectious
and increased risk of atherosclerotic disease has already been
suggested. Moreover, an earlier study of subjects who had
general health-screening tests reported a possible link
between CA and
seropositivity of antibody against Hepatitis C Virus.
In this current study, and because it is postulated to be a
marker of viremia and thus persistent infection, researchers
the association between CA and Hepatitis C Virus core protein positivity.
Dr Y Ishizaka and colleagues reviewed 1,992 subjects. Of
(25% had carotid artery plaque, and 25 (1.3%) were positive
for Hepatitis C Virus
Carotid artery plaque was positive in 480 of 1,967 (24%) of
protein-negative subjects and in 16 of 25 (64%) of the core
protein-positive subjects (p<0.0001 by chi(2) test).
Although serum concentrations of transaminases were higher in
protein-positive subjects, albumin concentrations were not
significantly different between the two groups.
Further analysis (multivariate logistic regression) indicated
Hepatitis C Virus core
protein positivity is an independent predictor of carotid
an odds ratio of 5.61 (95% confidence interval 2.06-15.26,
The findings thus support a possible association between
Hepatitis C Virus infection and CA in patients without severe liver
these authors conclude.
Circ J 2003 Jan;67(1):26-30. "Association between
hepatitis C virus
core protein and carotid atherosclerosis."