1University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Epidemiological studies have reported conflicting results regarding hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We systematically reviewed the literature to determine the risk of developing CKD in HCV-infected individuals compared to uninfected individuals. MEDLINE and PUBMED were searched to identify observational studies that had reported an association between HCV and CKD or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) through January 2015. Quantitative estimates [hazard ratio (HR) or odds ratio (OR)] and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were extracted from each study. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed. Fourteen studies evaluating the risk of developing CKD/ESRD in HCV-infected individuals (n = 336 227) compared to uninfected controls (n = 2 665 631) were identified- nine cohort studies and five cross-sectional studies. The summary estimate indicated that individuals with HCV had a 23% greater risk of presenting with CKD compared to uninfected individuals (risk ratio = 1.23; 95% CI: 1.12-1.34). Results were similar by study type, for cohorts (HR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.12-1.40) and cross-sectional studies (OR = 1.21; 95% CI: 1.09-1.32). Country-stratified analysis demonstrated a significantly increased risk between HCV and CKD in the Taiwanese subgroup (risk ratio = 1.28; 95% CI: 1.12-1.34) and the US subgroup (risk ratio = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.01-1.32). Egger regression revealed no evidence of publication bias. HCV infection is associated with a greater risk of developing and progression of CKD compared to uninfected controls.