New study results indicated that patients with hepatitis C virus infection were more likely to have low muscle mass than patients without the infection.
In a cross-sectional study, Charitha Gowda, MD, MPH, division of infectious diseases, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues analyzed data from 18,513 adults enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2010). Patients completed a questionnaire, physical examination, provided blood samples and other measurements, and researchers sought to determine whether an association existed between patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and low muscle mass. The cohort included 303 patients with chronic HCV.
“We demonstrate that chronic HCV infection in US adults is associated
with a higher prevalence of low muscle mass, an early marker of malnutrition, even in the absence of advanced liver disease,” Gowda told Healio.com/Hepatology.
“Importantly, low muscle mass is a modifiable risk factor that leads to
worse health outcomes, and clinicians should consider evaluating the
nutritional status of their chronic HCV-infected patients routinely to
identify those at-risk.”