Increasing risk of cataract in HCV patients receiving anti-HCV therapy

A nationwide cohort study

Citation: Lin S-Y, Lin C-L, Ju S-W, Wang I-K, Lin C-C, Lin C-H, et al. (2017) Increasing risk of cataract in HCV patients receiving anti-HCV therapy: A nationwide cohort study. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0173125.
Published: March 6, 2017

Purpose: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with increased systemic oxidative stress, which leads to cardiovascular events, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Similarly, cataract is also associated with increased oxidative stress. The association between HCV infection and increased risk of cataract remains unclear.
Methods: A total of 11,652 HCV-infected patients and 46,608 age- and sex-matched non-HCV infected patients were identified during 2003–2011. All patient data were tracked until a diagnosis of cataract, death, or the end of 2011. Cumulative incidences and hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated.
Results: The mean follow-up durations were 5.29 and 5.86 years for the HCV and non-HCV cohorts, respectively. The overall incidence density rate for cataract was 1.36 times higher in the HCV cohort than in the non-HCV cohort (1.86 and 1.37 per 100 person-y, respectively). After adjusting for age, sex, comorbidities of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery disease, and anxiety, patients with HCV infection had an increased risk of cataract compared with those without HCV infection [adjusted HR = 1.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.14–1.32]. HCV-infected patients receiving interferon–ribavirin therapy had a 1.83 times higher (95% CI = 1.40–2.38) risk of cataract than non-HCV infected patients did.
Conclusion: HCV infection, even without the complication of cirrhosis, is associated with an increased risk of cataract, and this risk is higher in HCV-infected patients undergoing interferon–ribavirin therapy.


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