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Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Risk Factors Affect Liver-Related Outcomes After Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment for Hepatitis C.

Benhammou JN, Moon AM, Pisegna JR, Su F, Vutien P, Moylan CA, Ioannou GN. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Risk Factors Affect Liver-Related Outcomes After Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment for Hepatitis C. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2020 Jul 11.

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INTRODUCTION: In hepatitis C (HCV) patients, obesity and/or diabetes may increase the risk of liver-related outcomes. We aimed to determine whether diabetes and/or obesity are associated with adverse outcomes in direct-acting antiviral (DAA)-treated HCV patients. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 33,003 HCV-infected, DAA-treated Veterans between 2013 and 2015. Body mass index was used to categorize patients into underweight ( < 18.5 kg/m), normal weight (18.5 to < 25 kg/m), overweight (25 to < 30 kg/m), obesity I (30 to < 35 kg/m), and obesity II-III ( > 35 kg/m). Diabetes was defined by ICD-9/10 codes in association with hemoglobin A1c > 6.5% or medication prescriptions. Patients were followed from 180 days post-DAA initiation until 2/14/2019 to assess for development of cirrhosis, decompensations, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and death. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to determine the association between diabetes and/or obesity and outcomes. RESULTS: During a mean follow-up of 3 years, 10.1% patients died, 5.0% were newly diagnosed with cirrhosis, 4.7% had a decompensation and 4.0% developed HCC. Diabetes was associated with an increased risk of mortality (AHR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.10-1.42), cirrhosis (AHR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.16-1.48), decompensation (AHR = 1.74, 95% CI 1.31-2.31), and HCC (AHR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.01-1.72) among patients without baseline cirrhosis. Compared to normal-weight persons, obese persons had a higher risk of cirrhosis, but overweight and obese persons had lower risk of mortality and HCC. CONCLUSIONS: In this large DAA-treated Veterans cohort, pre-DAA diabetes increases mortality and liver-related events independent of SVR. Continued vigilance is warranted in patients with diabetes despite SVR. Elevated BMI categories appear to have improved outcomes, although further studies are needed to understand those associations.

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