December 11, 2013

Hepatitis C viral infection and the risk of dementia

Eur J Neurol. 2013 Dec 7. doi: 10.1111/ene.12317. [Epub ahead of print]

Chiu WC, Tsan YT, Tsai SL, Chang CJ, Wang JD, Chen PC; Health Data Analysis in Taiwan (hDATa) Research Group.

Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, National Taiwan University College of Public Health, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; School of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may cause cognitive impairment, but no studies have focused specifically on cognitive impairment stemming from HCV. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential increased risk for dementia in HCV-infected patients.

METHODS: A population-based cohort study based on the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database was conducted. From all potential participants aged 50 years or more, a total of 58 570 matched (1:1) pairs of HCV-infected patients and non-HCV-infected patients were included. Each subject was individually tracked from 1997 to 2009 to identify incident cases of dementia (onset in 1999 or later). Cox proportional hazards regressions were employed to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between HCV infection and dementia.

RESULTS: There were 2989 dementia cases from the HCV-infected cohort during the follow-up period of 533 861.1 person-years; the overall incidence rates of dementia differed from the non-HCV cohort (56.0 vs. 47.7 cases per 10 000 person-years, P < 0.05). The adjusted HR for dementia was 1.36 (95% CI 1.27-1.42) for HCV-infected patients after adjusting for alcohol-related disease, liver cirrhosis, hepatic encephalopathy and hepatocellular carcinoma.

CONCLUSIONS: HCV infection may increase the risk for dementia. Further mechanistic research is needed.

© 2013 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2013 EFNS.

KEYWORDS: Alzheimer's disease, chronic hepatitis, dementia, hepatitis C

PMID: 24313931 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    My 59 year old sister had Hepatitis C and was treated a few years ago.
    She has been free of the hepatitis but has been diagnosed with dementia.
    She was a patient at the U of Pennsylvania Hospital where several neurologists were unable to confirm the dementia cause or type.