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HCV tied to greater risks of death, sick sinus syndrome than HBV infections

17 Aug 2019
Authorities in Malaysia have approved a compulsory license for Hepatitis C treatment, which allows for cheaper generic medication to be produced without the drug patent holder’s consent.

The risks of death and sick sinus syndrome are higher in patients with hepatitis C (HCV) than hepatitis B (HBV) virus infections, reports a recent Taiwan study.

Accessing electronic medical records from the National Health Insurance Research Database, researchers identified 5,480 HCV (mean age, 52.7±15.1 years; 49.5 percent male) and 5,480 HBV (mean age, 52.5±14.5 years; 50.1 percent male) patients. Primary outcomes were the occurrence of cardiac arrhythmias and all-cause mortality. Those with concomitant HBV and HCV, alcohol or drug abuse, cardiomyopathy, and thyroid disease, among other comorbidities, were excluded.

Patients with HCV were significantly more likely to die than their HBV counterparts (hazard ratio [HR], 1.35, 95 percent CI, 1.16–1.58; p<0.001). The likelihood of developing sick sinus syndrome was likewise significantly elevated in HCV participants (HR, 1.77, 1.07–2.91; p=0.025).

On the other hand, while atrial fibrillation occurred more frequently in the HCV group (2.24 percent vs 1.72 percent), the between-group difference in risk was only marginally significant (HR, 1.25, 0.98–1.59; p=0.07).

The effects of HCV infection on the risk of mortality and sick sinus syndrome were robust to subgroup analysis and did not meaningfully change across different strata of gender, age and comorbidities.

The occurrences of supraventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and heart block were all comparable between the two groups.

Important limitations of the study included the use of claims-based epidemiological data and the racially homogenous study population, which might limit the generalizability of the findings, said researchers. Future studies should aim to address such weaknesses.

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Most Read Articles
4 days ago
Older women with longer endogenous oestrogen exposure and hormone therapy use are at much higher odds of having favourable cognitive status in late life, a recent study suggests.
2 days ago
In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD), rivaroxaban monotherapy is noninferior to combination treatment with an antiplatelet therapy in terms of cutting the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, according to data from the AFIRE trial.
Elvira Manzano, 3 days ago
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D3 for up to 5 years has no effect on kidney function in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D), the VITAL-DKD* ancillary study has shown.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 18 hours ago
Many patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) in Thailand use anticoagulants, but the uptake of nonvitamin-K oral anticoagulants remains suboptimal despite showing an upward trend, according to data from the COOL-AF registry presented at the European Society of Cardioloy (ESC) Asia Congress 2019 with APSC and AFC.