Background and Aims: A growing pile of evidence supports the notion that pulmonary involvement is one of the extrahepatic manifestations of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of HCV infection in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and vice versa.
Methods: Two cross-sectional studies were performed: 1. A prevalence study of HCV infection among patients with COPD; 2. A prevalence study of COPD among patients with chronic HCV infection. COPD was diagnosed according to ATS/ERS guidelines. The prevalence of HCV infection in COPD group was compared with the result of a previous study which determined the prevalence of HCV infection in general population. Prevalence of COPD in patients with chronic HCV infection was also compared to those with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
Results: The study included 108 patients with COPD, 68 patients with chronic HCV infection, and 60 patients with chronic HBV infection. HCV infection was observed in 8.3% of patients with COPD, and 1.2% of the control subjects (P= 0.000). The prevalence of COPD among patients with chronic HCV and HBV infection was 17.6%, and 5%, respectively (P=0.03). Comparing COPD-positive and -negative chronic HCV patients for risk factors for COPD revealed that only the mean age was higher in COPD-positive patients (60.8±9.1 years vs. 46.5±11.5 years, P=0.000). In multivariate analysis, age was found to be the only independent predictor of COPD in HCV group.
Conclusions: Patients with COPD have increased prevalence of HCV infection, and patients with HCV infection, have increased prevalence of COPD. COPD may be an extrahepatic disease associated with HCV infection.
Full text is available in PDF