Chronic liver disease related to hepatitis C virus: Age of patients seems to be a determinant of severity independently of viral genotype

Edoardo Giannini, Federica Botta, Sergio Caglieris, Alberto Fasoli, Domenico Risso, Paola Ceppa, Elena Cresta, Valentina Venturino, Giancarlo Icardi, Pasquale B. Lantieri, Guido Celle, Roberto Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Hepatitis C virus infection accounts for varying severity of chronic liver disease. Clinical manifestations of infection have been related to different virus genotypes, with conflicting results. Design. We performed a cross-sectional study on a Northern-Italian group of patients with chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma related to hepatitis C virus infection in order to verify the association of different viral strains and the outcomes of viral disease. Methods. Two hundred and seventy-one patients referred to our unit for liver disease were studied and clinical, biochemical, histological, and functional parameters were investigated. Results. Different viral genotypes were not associated with peculiar findings in any of the degrees of liver disease. However, a progressive age increase was associated with disease severity, although clinical and functional staging of cirrhotic patients with hepatocellular carcinoma was better compared to tumour-free cirrhotic patients. There was an increased prevalence of genotype 1b related to the age of the patients. In multivariate regression analysis the patients' age and apparent duration of infection were independently associated with the presence of cirrhosis and only the age of patients was associated to hepatocellular carcinoma. Conclusions. In the population we studied age of the patients seemed to be a determinant conditioning disease severity, likely reflecting older infections and long-standing liver disease. The prevalence of certain genotypes in varying degrees of liver disease could be an epiphenomenon which might also be explained by the changing prevalence of infecting strains over the past decades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-558
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • MEGX test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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