Association between hepatitis C virus and chronic kidney disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Introduction and aim. The role of hepatitis C virus infection as a risk factor for the development and progression of chronic kidney disease in the general population remains unclear. Material and methods. A systematic review of the published medical literature was performed to assess whether positive anti-HCV serologic status is associated with higher frequency of chronic kidney disease in the adult general population. We used a random-effects model to generate a summary estimate of the relative risk of chronic kidney disease (defined by lowered glomerular filtration rate or detectable proteinuria) with HCV across the published studies. Meta-regression and stratified analysis were also carried out. Results. Forty studies were eligible (n = 4,072,867 patients), and separate meta-analyses were conducted according to the outcome. Pooling results of longitudinal studies (n = 15 studies, n = 2,299,134 unique patients) demonstrated an association between positive anti-HCV serologic status and increased incidence of CKD, the summary estimate for adjusted HR with HCV across the surveys, 1.54 (95% CI, 1.26; 1.87) (P < 0.001). Between-study heterogeneity was observed (Q value by Chi-squared [χ2] test 500.3, P < 0.0001). The risk of chronic kidney disease related to HCV, in the subset of surveys from Asia was 1.45 (1.27; 1.65) (P < 0.001) (no heterogeneity). According to our meta-regression, ageing (P < 0.0001) and duration of follow-up (P < 0.0001) increased the risk of chronic kidney disease among HCV-positive subjects. We observed a relationship between anti-HCV positive serologic status and frequency of proteinuria, adjusted effect estimate of proteinuria with HCV among surveys was 1.633 (95% CI, 1,29; 2.05) (P < 0.001) (n = 10 studies; 315,404 unique patients). However, between-studies heterogeneity was noted (P value by Q test < 0.0001). Conclusion. An association between HCV infection and increased risk of chronic kidney disease in the general population exists. The mechanisms underlying such association are currently under active investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-391
Number of pages28
JournalAnnals of Hepatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018


  • Chronic renal insufficiency
  • Hepatitis C
  • Interferons
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Renal dialysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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