Epidemiology and Infection

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Epidemiology and Infection (2010), 138:167-173 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

Original Papers


Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in patients with COPD

D. R. SILVAa1 c1, J. STIFFTa2, H. CHEINQUERa2 and M. M. KNORSTa1

a1 Pulmonary Division, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil
a2 Gastroenterology Division, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil
Article author query
silva dr [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
stifft j [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
cheinquer h [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
knorst mm [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


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.

(Accepted May 27 2009)

(Online publication June 29 2009)

Key Words:COPD; HCV infection; prevalence


c1 Author for correspondence: D. R. Silva, M.D., Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2350, Bairro Santa Cecília, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. (Email: denise.rossato@terra.com.br)