They are 31 times as likely as uninfected people with no alcohol problems are to develop the disease, researchers found.
The research showed that, overall, HCV-infected patients are nearly 8 times as likely as uninfected people to contract cirrhosis.
Researchers, Dr Robert Harris and colleagues, from the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Study Group studied more than 800 patients to reach their conclusions.
HCV infection plus alcohol abuse increases cirrhosis risk 31 times.
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
The findings showed that 17 per cent of patients with transfusion-associated HCV could be expected to develop cirrhosis. Where patients have transfusion-associated non-A, non-B, non-C hepatitis, risk was just over 3 per cent.
The researchers write, "Although numerous reports have identified a strong role of alcohol in promoting progression of liver disease among persons with chronic HCV infection, our findings provide a quantitative measure to assess the strength of this association.
"This finding emphasizes the need to counsel such patients about their drinking habits."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com