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The effect of HIV coinfection on the risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in U.S. veterans with hepatitis C.

Kramer JR, Giordano TP, Souchek J, Richardson P, Hwang LY, El-Serag HB. The effect of HIV coinfection on the risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in U.S. veterans with hepatitis C. The American journal of gastroenterology. 2005 Jan 1; 100(1):56-63.

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OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to determine whether HIV coinfection increases the risk of cirrhosis in HCV-infected patients in the HAART and pre-HAART eras. Further, the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma was also examined. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was conducted among HCV-infected veterans who were seen at one of the 172 Veterans Health Administration hospitals between October 1, 1991 and September 30, 2000. Patients with prerecorded advanced liver disease were excluded. Incidence rates, cumulative incidence, and Cox proportional hazard ratios were calculated. RESULTS: There were 26,641 patients with HCV-only and 4,761 patients with HCV-HIV coinfection. The unadjusted incidence rate of cirrhosis was lower in patients with coinfection than HCV-only (p < 0.01). After controlling for demographics and confounders (including alcoholism and chronic hepatitis B), coinfection was not significantly associated with cirrhosis. However, there was an increased risk of cirrhosis in patients with coinfection compared to HCV-only during the pre-HAART era (before October 1, 1996) (hazard ratio = 1.48, 1.06-2.07, p = 0.02), but not among patients who entered the cohort during the HAART era. The unadjusted incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with coinfection and HCV-only was 1.3 and 2/1,000 person-years, respectively (p = 0.04). In the multivariate model, coinfection was not associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (hazard ratio = 0.84, p = 0.40). CONCLUSIONS: Coinfection was a significant risk factor for cirrhosis only during the pre-HAART era and was not associated with hepatocellular carcinoma, irrespective of time period.

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