The rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression or death of individuals coinfected with Hepatitis C virus is conflicting.
Dr Bénet and colleagues from France assessed if rate of survival differed between HIV-infected patients screened and unscreened for Hepatitis C virus in a hospital-based prospective cohort study.
|Incidence rates among Hep C-unscreened patients were 52 per 1000 patient-years|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
Patients were enrolled in the Lyon section of the French Hospital Database on HIV between 1992 and 2005.
A multivariate Cox regression model was used to analyse the association of Hepatitis C virus screening with survival.
The team noted that of 3244 patients, 299 were not screened for Hepatitis C virus.
The team found the populations screened and unscreened differed by the proportion of acquired immune deficiency syndrome at baseline.
The 2 groups also differed in the presumed route of infection, and CD4 cell count category at baseline.
The mean duration of follow-up, mean number of visits per year, and type of antiretroviral therapy and survival also differed between the groups.
The researchers found that the rate of progression to death was higher for non-Hepatitis C virus-screened vs Hepatitis C virus-screened patients.
The research team observed that the incidence rate among Hepatitis C virus-screened patients was 23 per 1000 patient-years.
The incidence rate among hepatitis C virus-unscreened patients was 52 per 1000 patient-years.
The team noted that the adjusted hazards ratio of death was 2.5 for patients with unknown Hepatitis C virus status compared with others.
Dr Bénet's team concluded, "Unscreened or unknown Hepatitis C virus status was associated with an increased risk of death in our hospital cohort."
"Important prognostic factors are related to, or confounded by the practice of Hepatitis C virus screening."