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Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in patients with COPD

  • D. R. SILVA (a1), J. STIFFT (a2), H. CHEINQUER (a2) and M. M. KNORST (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 29 June 2009

Some studies have suggested that chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may induce an accelerated decline of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). We performed a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of HCV infection in a sample of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients and in a control group of blood donors. The clinical characteristics of HCV-positive and HCV-negative patients were compared. Anti-HCV antibody was determined and confirmed by HCV-RNA. The prevalence of HCV infection in COPD patients was 7·5% (95% CI 6·52–8·48) and in blood donors was 0·41% (95% CI 0·40–0·42). The HCV-positive patients had a lower FEV1 (34·7±8·6%) and a higher BODE index (median=6) than HCV-negative patients (42·7±16·5%, median=4, respectively) (P=0·011 and 0·027, respectively). Our results suggest a high prevalence of chronic HCV infection in patients with COPD in comparison with the blood donors. HCV-positive patients have a more severe disease.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: D. R. Silva, M.D., Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2350, Bairro Santa Cecília, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. (Email:
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