Friday, February 3, 2017

News Recap

Hepatitis C and Rheumatic, Kidney & Heart Disease
As you may remember there have been quite a few news items over the past few months about the extrahepatic effects of hepatitis C, which is more and more coming to be recognized as a multi-organ disease.  Not only is the hepatitis C virus (HCV) the cause of liver diseases in up to 170 million people worldwide, it also has many extrahepatic disease manifestations. These include rheumatic, hematologic, and cardiovascular diseases. In a review article published in Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America, Patrice Cacoub, MD, from the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, Paris, France, and colleagues discuss the main rheumatologic diseases associated with chronic HCV and also note that active chronic HCV infection also seems to be an independent risk factor for ischemic cerebrovascular accidents and ischemic heart disease – stroke and heart attacks. Direct-Acting Antivirals for HCV-Associated Rheumatic Diseases

Recently the American Liver Foundation in collaboration with the National Kidney Foundation (USA) produced a webinar on the “Interplay of Hepatitis C Virus Infection with Liver and Kidney Disease.”  It is over an hour long but well worth the watching.  It makes the point very clearly that hepatitis C is a systemic disease that is the cause of many other illnesses (including heart disease), and that in many cases ridding the body of hepatitis C also improves the outcomes of these other associated conditions. Interplay of Hepatitis C Virus Infection with Liver and Kidney Disease

Last, a study of coinfected patients treated in Spain between 2000 and 2008 has shown that curing hepatitis C infection substantially reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes in people with HIV/HCV coinfection, but does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancers or other non-AIDS events. The findings are published online ahead of print in the journal Hepatology. The study also found a trend towards a reduced risk of kidney failure in those cured of hepatitis C. Curing hepatitis C reduces the risk of diabetes & kidney failure in HIV/HCV-coinfected people

Take Away Message
The take away message from the above studies is that curing HCV vastly improves health. Doctors and health advocates have been saying this for years.  With the new DAAs on the market it is possible to rid the body of the “inflammatory response” triggered by active HCV, and thus reduce the wear and tear on other organs (kidneys, heart, joints, etc.)  But the biggest obstacle to getting treated remains the cost!  With this in mind it is good to know that a new pan-genotypic, once-a-day 8-week treatment from AbbVie is being fast-tracked in both the USA and Canada!! Health Canada Grants Priority Review to AbbVie’s Investigational Regimen of Glecaprevir/Pibrentasvir (G/P) for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C in All Major Genotypes (GT1-6)

Coming Up Next Week!

  • Tuesday, Feb 7: Women’s Night – Stride with Purpose, Port Coquitlam. 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm Trinity United Church, 2211 Prairie Ave, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 1V8. More info
  • Wednesday Feb 8: HepCBC at Camosun College Volunteer Fair, Victoria BC 10:00 am – 2:00 pm pin Show Map Camosun College, 3100 Foul Bay Rd, Victoria, BC V8P 5J2. More info