Treatment with either pegylated interferon with ribavirin or direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C correlated with a significantly lower risk for cardiovascular disease, especially among patients who achieved sustained virologic response, according to a study published in Gastroenterology.
“We found that untreated HCV infected persons had nearly twice the rate of incident CVD events compared with those who initiated treatment. This was observed for [coronary artery disease (CAD)] events … as well as for stroke and peripheral vascular disease,” Adeel A. Butt, MD, from the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and colleagues wrote. “Our study adds significant new information by assessing older pegylated interferon/ribavirin and newer DAA regimens and their effect on CVD outcomes.”
The study comprised 4,436 patients with chronic hepatitis C who received treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin and 12,667 patients who received DAAs. The study also included an equal number of matched controls with HCV who never received any treatment for their infection.