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Hepatitis C virus infection and coronary artery disease risk: a systematic review of the literature.

Wong RJ, Kanwal F, Younossi ZM, Ahmed A. Hepatitis C virus infection and coronary artery disease risk: a systematic review of the literature. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2014 Jul 1; 59(7):1586-93.

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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: While hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been implicated in increasing the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), conflicting reports exist regarding this association. We performed a systematic review to further investigate this association. METHODS: We conducted a PubMed search of original research articles from January 1, 1995 to June 30, 2013 to identify case-control and cohort studies evaluating the association between HCV and CAD using keyword terms ["hepatitis c" or "HCV"] and ["coronary artery disease" or "heart disease" or "atherosclerosis."] The primary CAD-related endpoints included myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, need for coronary artery bypass grafting, or transluminal percutaneous coronary angioplasty. Binary outcomes are reported as odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: We identified five studies (four cohort studies and one case-control study) that met our inclusion criteria. A significant association between HCV and CAD was demonstrated in one cohort study (adjusted HR 1.27; 95 % CI 1.22-1.31). One cohort study demonstrated a decreased risk of CAD associated with HCV (adjusted OR 0.74; 95 % CI 0.71-0.76). The remaining studies did not find a significant association between HCV and risk of CAD. CONCLUSIONS: The current systematic review demonstrates that the association between HCV and CAD remains unclear. We need more large, long-term cohort studies with clear definitions of patient population and endpoints to better ascertain the association between HCV and CAD.

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