Skip to content

    Hepatitis Health Center

    Font Size

    Hepatitis C Bad for Heart

    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

    Jan. 11, 2002 -- People with hepatitis C infection risk heart disease, a Japanese study suggests.

    Many different kinds of infections seem to increase the risk of heart disease. Why this happens isn't clear. The whole issue is still controversial.

    University of Tokyo researcher Nobukazu Ishizaka, MD, and co-workers looked at the general health screening tests from 4,784 people. Blood tests showed that 104 of these people carried the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

    Ultrasound tests showed that these HCV-infected people were twice as likely to have clogged heart arteries as uninfected people who otherwise had that same risk of heart disease. Even more alarming was the finding that these people with HCV infection were nearly three times more likely to have thickening of the wall of the carotid artery -- a known risk factor for heart disease.

    Whether this happens only to people in Japan -- or only to people with certain subtypes of HCV infection -- remains unknown.

    More study will be needed to find out what's going on. Meanwhile, people with HCV should ask their doctors about their risk of heart disease. They should also consider adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

    Today on WebMD

    Hepatitus C virus
    Types, symptoms and treatments.
    liver illustration
    Myths and facts about this essential organ.
    woman eating apple
    What you need to know.
    doctor and patient
    What causes it?
    Hepatitis C Treatment
    Syringes and graph illustration
    liver illustration
    passport, pills and vaccine
    Scientist looking in microscope
    Fatty Liver Disease
    Digestive Diseases Liver Transplantation
    Picture Of The Liver
    Image Collection