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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


Hepatitis C Virus Linked With Carotid Plaque
A DGReview of :"Association between hepatitis C virus core protein and
carotid atherosclerosis."
Circulation Journal

01/16/2003
By Anne MacLennan


Hepatitis C virus core protein positivity is an independent predictor 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 from the Center for Multiphasic Health Testing and Services, Mitsui Memorial
Hospital, Tokyo.

That there is an association between certain infectious microorganisms and increased risk of atherosclerotic disease has already been suggested. Moreover, an earlier study of subjects who had undergone 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 better marker of viremia and thus persistent infection, researchers assessed the association between CA and Hepatitis C Virus core protein positivity.


Dr Y Ishizaka and colleagues reviewed 1,992 subjects. Of these, 496 (25% had carotid artery plaque, and 25 (1.3%) were positive for Hepatitis C Virus core protein.

Carotid artery plaque was positive in 480 of 1,967 (24%) of the core 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 core 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 plaque, with an odds ratio of 5.61 (95% confidence interval 2.06-15.26, p<0.001).

 



The findings thus support a possible association between persistent Hepatitis C Virus infection and CA in patients without severe liver dysfunction, these authors conclude.
Circ J 2003 Jan;67(1):26-30. "Association between hepatitis C virus core protein and carotid atherosclerosis."