1Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Although persons with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may experience nonhepatic illnesses, little is known about the frequency of and trends in such conditions in a population-based sample of HCV-infected persons. Using hospitalization data collected during 2004-2011 from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, we examined trends in comorbidities among all hospitalizations that included either a principal or secondary HCV diagnostic code (i.e., HCV was not necessarily the cause for hospitalization). We also compared comorbidities among all persons aged 45-64 years hospitalized with and without principal or secondary HCV diagnostic codes. The estimated number of hospitalizations among persons with HCV infection increased from 850 490 in 2004-2005 to 1 178 633 in 2010-2011; mean age at hospitalization was 50 years in 2004-2005 and 52.5 years in 2010-2011. There were significant increases in the prevalence of most medical and psychiatric comorbidities; the largest were for lipid disorders, chronic kidney disease and obesity. Among HCV-infected aged 45-64 persons hospitalized for any cause, the prevalence of alcohol /substance abuse, mental disorders, chronic kidney disease, pneumonia, hepatitis B virus infection and HIV infection were significantly higher than those aged 45-64 persons hospitalized without HCV infection (P < 0.001 for all). The prevalence of cryoglobulinaemia, vasculitis, nephrotic syndrome or membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and porphyria cutanea tarda among hospitalizations with HCV infection was consistently low during the study period (i.e., <0.5%). The increase we observed in nonhepatic comorbidities associated with a high risk of HCV-related complications has important implications for the current HCV treatment recommendations in a greatly expanded treatment population.