HIV/HCV Coinfection Increases Rate of Liver Disease, Mortality in Study
People living with both HIV and hepatitis C are more likely to develop liver disease and have a higher mortality rate than those living with HIV or HCV, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Reuters Health reports. Kyong-Mi Chang of the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and colleagues analyzed the study participants' HIV and HCV status, their race and their outcomes. The researchers analyzed three groups of participants -- 265 people with HCV and HIV coinfection, 251 people with HCV alone, and 227 people with HIV alone -- over a period of three years. The report finds that participants living with HCV or HIV "were only about one-third as likely to die as" those living with HIV and HCV, Reuters Health reports (Boggs, Reuters Health, 4/18). In addition, 31% of coinfected white people compared with 15% of coinfected black people died during the study period (Chang et al., American Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2006). The difference between black participants' and white participants' average age of death also was significant, with white participants dying at an average age of 46 and black people dying at an average age of 52 (Reuters Health, 4/18). The researchers conclude, "HCV [and] HIV coinfection is associated with worsened liver disease and higher mortality than HCV or HIV monoinfection" (American Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2006).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.