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REVIEW  HEPATITIS C INFECTION: A SYSTEMIC DISEASE 

Minerva Medica 2021 April;112(2):188-200

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.20.07129-3

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Chronic hepatitis C infection induces cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes: mechanisms and management

Riccardo NEVOLA, Carlo ACIERNO, Pia C. PAFUNDI, Luigi E. ADINOLFI

Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Advanced Medical and Surgery Sciences, Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Naples, Italy



Despite the availability of effective treatments, hepatitis C virus (HCV) still remains a threat to public health. HCV is capable to trigger, behind liver damage, extrahepatic manifestations, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (T2DM). A close association has been reported between HCV infection and cardiovascular disease due to imbalances in metabolic pathways and chronic inflammation. HCV through both direct and indirect mechanisms causes a higher incidence of ischemic stroke, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure and peripheral arterial disease. In addition, a higher risk of death from cardiovascular events has been showed in HCV patients. Insulin resistance is a hallmark of HCV infection and represents the link between HCV and T2DM, which is one of the most frequent HCV-associated extrahepatic manifestations. The pathological basis of the increased risk of T2DM in HCV infection is provided by the alterations of the molecular mechanisms of IR induced both by the direct effects of the HCV proteins, and by the indirect effects mediated by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and hepatic steatosis. T2DM increases the risk of compensated and decompensate cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma as well as increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower limb amputation and end stage renal disease. Current evidence suggests that HCV eradication reduces the incidence and mortality of cardiovascular disease and T2DM, further underling the importance of public health strategies for eradication the infection. The aim of this review was to update evidence and management of interaction between HCV, cardiovascular disease, and T2DM in the era of DAA treatment.


KEY WORDS: Hepacivirus; Cardiovascular diseases; Atherosclerosis; Insulin resistance; Diabetes mellitus, type 2

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