Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Hepatitis C Raises CKD Risk

Individuals with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have an increased risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a recent study.

Previous evidence has indicated that chronic HCV has a negative effect on kidney function and survival in patients who have CKD or those who require hemodialysis.

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To explore this association further, the researchers identified and evaluated patients with chronic HCV and CKD, based on International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria. Data were obtained from the 1997-2013 nationwide Swedish inpatient care day surgery and the 2001-2013 non-primary outpatient care patient registries.

Patients were matched with members of the general population for age, sex, and place of residency. Follow-up began at the date of HCV diagnosis, and patients accumulated person-time until either death, emigration, or December 31, 2013 (whichever came first).

A total of 42,522 patients had chronic HCV. Of these, 1077 (2.5%) also had developed CKD over the course of 280,123 person-years vs 1454 (0.7%) in the general population over 1,504,765 person-years. The researchers noted that patients with chronic HCV had a 3.3- to 7-fold higher risk of requiring hemodialysis.

The researchers noted that antiviral treatment improved survival in patients with chronic HCV on hemodialysis. Approximately 17% of patients with chronic HCV on hemodialysis received treatment for chronic HCV. A total of 24% of patients who were treated for chronic HCV had died vs 56% of untreated patients.

“The results from this nationwide registry study showed that [chronic HCV] patients are at higher risk of developing CKD,” the researchers concluded. “Furthermore, hepatitis C treatment seemed to improve survival for [chronic HCV/hemodialysis] patients compared with untreated [chronic HCV/hemodialysis] patients.”

—Christina Vogt


Söderholm J, Millbourn C, Büsch K, et al. Higher risk of renal disease in chronic hepatitis C patients: antiviral therapy survival benefit in patients on hemodialysis [Published online December 9, 2017]. J Hepatol.