Source University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology(LIM07), Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The role of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the direct effect of HCV on cardiovascular risk and correlate it with pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines in patients with HCV. HCV monoinfected patients, genotype 1, naive, non-obese (BMI<30) and non-diabetics were included and compared to controls (blood donors).
Patients with prior diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, chronic renal failure, cancer and chronic use of lipid-lowering drugs or immunosuppressants were excluded. Age, BMI, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic (DBP), fasting glucose and lipid levels were determined. Serum cytokines (IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α) and Framingham score were also evaluated. 62 HCV patients, 34 (54.8%) were males and none of them was smoking. The Framingham scores (median and 25th and 75th percentiles) were 12% (6.5-14%), showing an intermediate cardiovascular risk in patients with HCV. There was significant direct correlation between Framingham and total cholesterol (p=0.043) and DBP (p=0.007). HDL-C (p=0.002) was inversely correlated with the Framingham score. HCV patients had higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) compared to controls (p<0.0001) and the relation of proinflammatory/anti-inflammatory TNF-α/IL10 and IL-6/IL10 were higher in HCV patients (p<0.01).
The Framingham score was directly correlated to IL-6 and TNF-α, but differences were not statistically significant. Patients with HCV monoinfected, nonobese, naïve and non diabetic have an intermediate cardiovascular risk, as measured by the Framingham score and high levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF).