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 19 February 2018

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Risk factors for symptomatic human hepatitis E virus infection

The most recent issue of the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics investigates underlying comorbidities as risk factors for symptomatic human hepatitis E virus infection.

News image

Symptomatic Hepatitis E virus infection occurs in few infected subjects, and the risk factors are not completely known.

Dr Zhang and colleagues from China explored the risk factors for adverse clinical outcomes in acute Hepatitis E virus infections.

The research team conducted a large retrospective study.

The baseline characteristics, clinical outcomes, and laboratory data of 512 acute Hepatitis E virus infection cases were analyzed using logistic regression models.

The team noted that all patients exhibited autochthonous sporadic Hepatitis E virus infections, and most were elderly.

Their symptoms varied from asymptomatic to severe liver diseases.

In all, the team found that 42% had liver failure and/or decompensation, and 8% patients died within 3 months.

Nearly 60% of patients had underlying chronic liver diseases
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

The researchers found that nearly 60% of patients had underlying chronic liver diseases, 20% were cirrhotic, and various extrahepatic underlying comorbidities were common.

The team revealed that underlying chronic liver diseases, especially cirrhosis, were closely associated with disease severity but not with mortality in patients with severe liver diseases.

In addition to the known factors, including an old age, the male gender and chronic liver diseases, the research team identified pre-existing extrahepatic tumors, diabetes, and chronic respiratory and renal diseases as novel independent predictors for adverse clinical outcomes.

Importantly, patients without these 4 extrahepatic comorbidities showed a much lower mortality rate than patients with one or more comorbidities.

Dr Zhang's team concludes, "Previous comorbidities, including tumours, diabetes, and chronic liver, lung and kidney diseases, were independent risk factors for adverse outcomes, especially mortality, in acute Hepatitis E virus infections."

"This study provides valuable data for improving the prevention and control of Hepatitis E virus infection."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2017: 45(5): 701–713
24 February 2017

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