MOH Key Laboratory of Systems Biology of Pathogens, Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Increasing evidence demonstrates that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with atherosclerosis. However, there are contrasting findings in several studies that the atherosclerotic burden is not associated with HCV infections. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to clarify if HCV infection is associated with atherosclerosis compared to non-infected people.
Standard guidelines for performance of meta-analysis were followed.
A thorough database search performed by two independent investigators identified 14 eligible studies for analysis. The data from 11 studies were synthesized to report unadjusted odds ratios (ORs) for carotid atherosclerosis; the pooled unadjusted OR (95% confidence interval (CI)) was 1.65 (1.21, 2.09). By synthesizing the data from 8 studies to report adjusted ORs for carotid atherosclerosis the pooled multi-confounder adjusted OR (95% CI) was 1.76 (1.20, 2.32). However, the numbers of studies on coronary or femoral atherosclerosis were limited and not enough for analysis.
Our meta-analysis indicats that HCV infection is associated with carotid atherosclerosis independent of classical risk factors. Therefore, we would recommend for HCV infected patients to be counseled on their risk for carotid atherosclerosis.