DDW 2014: Outcomes in HBV/HCV Coinfected People Depend on Which Virus Dominates

Among HBV/HCV coinfected people, about half have dominant hepatitis B virus while half have dominant hepatitis C, and those with active HBV replication are at higher risk of liver-related complications and death, according to study findings presented at Digestive Disease Week this month in Chicago.

Due to similar routes of transmission, many people are coinfected with both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Previous research has shown that the 2 viruses can interact with one another, with HBV suppressing HCV replication and vice versa. Patterns of viral dominance are unpredictable, however, and their effects on clinical outcomes are unclear.

Robert Kruse from the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of hepatitis C patients who received care at through the U.S. Veterans Administration health system between 1997 and 2005.