Background/objectives Some studies suggest that patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and cerebrovascular disease. Unfortunately, available data on this association are widely variable. We have performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of literature to evaluate the risk of cardio-cerebrovascular disease (CCD) associated with HCV. Methods Studies reporting on CCD risk associated with HCV were systematically searched in the PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and EMBASE databases. Results Twenty-seven studies (34 data-sets) showed a significantly increased CCD risk in 297,613 HCV patients as compared with 557,814 uninfected controls (OR: 1.428; 95% CI: 1.214, 1.681). These results were confirmed when separately considering the risk of CAD (20 studies, OR: 1.382; 95% CI: 1.103, 1.732) and of cerebrovascular disease (13 studies, OR: 1.485; 95% CI: 1.079, 2.044). Similar results were confirmed when analyzing 21 studies reporting adjusted risk estimates (OR: 1.448; 95% CI: 1.218, 1.722) and when, after excluding studies defining CAD as positive angiographic or electrocardiographic evidence, we specifically included the 17 studies reporting on acute CCD-related events (OR: 1.357; 95% CI: 1.103, 1.670). Moreover, 4 studies evaluating CCD-related deaths showed a higher risk in HCV patients than controls (OR: 1.772; 95% CI: 1.448, 2.168; P <0.0001). Meta-regression models suggested a direct association between prevalence of cirrhosis and difference in CCD risk between HCV patients and controls. Conclusions Results of our large meta-analysis suggest that HCV-infected subjects experience an increased risk of CCD. This should be considered to plan specific cardiovascular prevention strategies in this clinical setting.
- Coronary artery disease
- Hepatitis C
- Myocardial infarction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine