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.”
Curative treatment that eliminates
hepatitis C virus (HCV) from the body can reduce central fatigue, one of the most concerning
symptoms associated with chronic hepatitis C, according to research presented at the 49th annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), held recently in London.
is a common and debilitating symptom for many people with hepatitis C. Central
fatigue refers to weakness originating in the central nervous system (the brain
and spinal cord), as opposed to peripheral or physical fatigue that originates
in the muscles.
is also a common side-effect of treatment with interferon and ribavirin.
Ribavirin often causes anaemia, which can
lead to fatigue by reducing the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen. New direct-acting antiviral agents allow
people with hepatitis C to either take interferon or ribavirin for a shorter
duration or to avoid them altogether.
Nearly half of adults infected with hepatitis C sought testing only
after experiencing the clinical indications of liver disease, according
to the CDC.
“Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes substantial
morbidity and mortality in the United States,” researchers wrote in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “Testing and treatment of asymptomatic persons might avert progression to more advanced disease.”