Untreated infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) may hasten progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), researchers concluded.

In their study comparing 151,974 patients with CKD only and 1603 with CKD and HCV infection, Sara Yee Tartof, MD, of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues found that patients with CKD and HCV infection experienced a 0.58 mL/min/1.73 m2 greater annual decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) compared with patients who had CKD but not HCV infection, according to a report published online ahead of print in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

In addition, in adjusted analyses, patients with both CKD and HCV infection had a nearly 2 times higher risk of a 25% decline in eGFR and end-stage renal disease (progression to eGFR below 15 mL/min/1.73 m2 on 2 or more occasions at least 90 days apart) compared with those who had CKD only.

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“Our results support the hypothesis that untreated HCV contributes to kidney function decline,” the authors stated.

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The group of patients with CKD and HCV infection was younger than patients with CKD only (64 vs 72 years), and had a greater proportion of men and black (36% vs 15%) and Hispanic patients (24% vs 18). All patients had stage 3 to 5 CKD.


Tartof SY, Hsu JW, Wei R, et al. Kidney function decline in patients with CKD and untreated hepatitis C infection. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018; published online ahead of print.