[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hospital-based studies suggest that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes frequent cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and mortality, but epidemiologic studies have shown less morbidity and mortality. The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of 10,259 recombinant immunoblot assay-confirmed, HCV antibody-positive (HCV+), allogeneic blood donors from 1991 to 2002 and 10,259 HCV antibody-negative (HCV-) donors matched for year of donation, age, gender, and Zone Improvement Plan Code (ZIP Code). Vital status through 2003 was obtained from the US National Death Index, and hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated by survival analysis. After a mean follow-up of 7.7 years, there were 601 (2.92%) deaths: 453 HCV+ and 148 HCV- (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.13, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.60, 3.76). Excess mortality in the HCV+ group was greatest in liver-related (HR = 45.99, 95% CI: 11.32, 186.74), drug- or alcohol-related (HR = 10.81, 95% CI: 4.68, 24.96), and trauma/suicide (HR = 2.99, 95% CI: 2.05, 4.36) causes. There was also an unexpected increase in cardiovascular mortality among the HCV+ donors (HR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.41, 3.46). HCV infection is associated with a significant, threefold increase in overall mortality among former blood donors, including significantly increased mortality from liver and cardiovascular causes. High rates of mortality from drug/alcohol and trauma/suicide causes are likely due to lifestyle factors and may be at least partially preventable.
American journal of epidemiology 04/2008; 167(6):743-50. DOI:10.1093/aje/kwm370 · 5.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 20 percent of persons infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) clear viremia. Factors associated with resolution of viremia are not well defined. Implementation of routine nucleic acid testing (NAT) of blood donors has yielded a large data set for analysis of demographic correlates of resolved viremia.
HCV antibody and NAT data, liver enzyme (alanine aminotransferase [ALT]) results, and donor demographic characteristics were compiled for 2,579,290 allogeneic donations given at five large blood centers after NAT implementation in 1999 through December 2001. Donation HCV RNA status was compared between first-time donors categorized by ALT levels, sex, age, race and/or ethnicity, country of birth, level of education, blood center location, and blood group, with chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regression methods.
Of 35 confirmed-seropositive repeat donors, 19 (54.3%) tested negative for the presence of HCV RNA; there was no association between RNA status and preseroconversion intervals (p = 0.74). Of 2105 RIBA-positive, first-time donors, 402 (19.1%) tested negative for the presence of HCV RNA by NAT (presumptive resolved infections). There were significant differences in the frequency of RNA negativity among first-time donors categorized by ALT levels and by race and/or ethnicity. ALT levels were more likely to be elevated in RNA-positive, first-time donors (p < 0.0001). Viremia was less likely to resolve in Asian (8.2%) and black non-Hispanic (14.4%) donors than in white non-Hispanic (20.7%), Hispanic (22.1%), and other race and/or ethnicity (22.1%) donors (p = 0.02). No significant associations were found for age, sex, country of origin, level of education, blood type, and donor center location.
These results confirm that the frequency of HCV RNA negativity among seropositive persons differs by race and/or ethnicity. Follow-up studies of donors with resolved viremia are warranted to further elucidate viral, immunologic, and genetic factors underlying spontaneous viral clearance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HTLV-I is associated with adult T-cell leukemia, and both HTLV-I and -II are associated with HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Several published reports suggest that HTLV-I may lead to decreased survival, but HTLV-II has not previously been associated with mortality.
We examined deaths among 138 HTLV-I, 358 HTLV-II, and 759 uninfected controls enrolled in a prospective cohort study of U.S. blood donors followed biannually since 1992. Proportional hazards models yielded hazard ratios (HRs) for the association between mortality and HTLV infection, controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, age, income, educational level, blood center, smoking, injection drug use history, alcohol intake, hepatitis C status and autologous donation. After a median follow-up of 8.6 years, there were 45 confirmed subject deaths. HTLV-I infection did not convey a statistically significant excess risk of mortality (unadjusted HR 1.9, 95%CI 0.8-4.4; adjusted HR 1.9, 95%CI 0.8-4.6). HTLV-II was associated with death in both the unadjusted model (HR 2.8, 95%CI 1.5-5.5) and in the adjusted model (HR 2.3, 95%CI 1.1-4.9). No single cause of death appeared responsible for the HTLV-II effect.
After adjusting for known and potential confounders, HTLV-II infection is associated with increased mortality among healthy blood donors. If replicated in other cohorts, this finding has implications for both HTLV pathogenesis and counseling of infected persons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Almost 20 years after its discovery, the prevalence and clinical course of human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I)-associated myelopathy (HAM, also known as tropical spastic paraparesis [TSP]) remain poorly defined. Whereas the causative association of HTLV-I and HAM/TSP is generally recognized, controversy still surrounds the relationship between HTLV-II and HAM/TSP.
The HTLV Outcomes Study (HOST-formerly Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study [REDS]) is a prospective cohort study including 160 patients with HTLV-I, 405 patients with HTLV-II, and 799 uninfected controls who have been followed every 2 years since 1990-1992. Clinical outcomes are measured by health interviews and examinations, and blood samples are obtained.
Six cases of HTLV-I-associated myelopathy (3.7%, 95% CI 1.4 to 8.0) and four cases of HTLV-II myelopathy (1.0%, 95% CI 0.3 to 2.5) have been diagnosed since the formation of the cohort. There have been no cases of HAM/TSP diagnosed among HTLV-negative subjects (0.0%, 95% CI 0.0 to 0.5). Clinical features of the cases include lower extremity hyperreflexia, variably associated with weakness, spasticity, and bladder dysfunction.
Systematic screening of HTLV-infected blood donors reveals a high prevalence of HAM/TSP. The clinical course of HAM/TSP appears highly variable. HTLV-II-associated myelopathy generally presents with milder and more slowly progressive signs and symptoms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand spontaneous and treatment-related recovery, continuing efforts should be directed toward the study of host-virus interactions during acute hepatitis C. A multidisciplinary approach will be required to generate suitable technical methods, increase clinician and lay awareness, and identify patients promptly following infection. In the confrontation between HCV and the human immune system, such an approach might tip the balance in our favor.