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Reuters Health Information (2005-11-25): HCV infection linked to neurocognitive impairment in HIV-positive women

Clinical

HCV infection linked to neurocognitive impairment in HIV-positive women

Last Updated: 2005-11-25 10:30:16 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in women coinfected with HIV appears to impair neuropsychological functioning, according to a report in the October 14th issue of AIDS.

HCV is common among HIV-infected patients, the authors explain, but few studies have examined neuropsychological impairment among such patients.

Dr. Jean L. Richardson from the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and colleagues used data from the Women's Interagency HIV Study to compare neuropsychological performance among women coinfected with HCV and HIV, those infected with only one of the viruses, and those seronegative for both viruses.

The prevalence of abnormal neuropsychological test results was significantly higher among HCV-positive women (48.5%) than among HCV-negative women (31.7%). HIV-positive women were twice as likely as HIV-negative women to have neuropsychological impairment, the results indicate.

Women coinfected with HIV and HCV were nearly 4 times as likely as noninfected women to have neuropsychological impairment, the researchers note.

In analyses that corrected for variables other than age, the odds of neuropsychological impairment among women infected with HCV were increased by a factor of 3, compared with women not infected with either virus. Adjusting for age dropped the odds ratio to just under 2.

Among women under 40 years old, the odds of neuropsychological impairment were 3.92 times higher for those who were HCV-negative/HIV-positive and 4.67 times higher for those who were HCV-positive/HIV-positive, compared with noninfected women, the investigators observe.

The odds of neuropsychological impairment did not differ based upon infection status among women over 40 years old. The researchers suggest that this may have resulted from the small number of women in this age group.

"This study is among the first to report evidence of increased risk of neuropsychological deficit in subjects dually infected with HIV and HCV and the first to examine these relationships among women," the authors conclude. "Neuropsychological impairment will be a continuing concern in the optimal management of patients with HCV and HIV disease."

AIDS 2005;19:1659-1667.

 
 
 
 
                 
 
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