Any level of alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk for advanced hepatic fibrosis among patients with HIV, chronic HCV and/or both, according to researchers.
Joseph K. Lim, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the Veterans Aging Cohort Study including 1,410 patients with HIV, 296 patients with HVC, 701 patients coinfected with HIV/HCV and 1,158 without HIV or HCV. All patients reported alcohol consumption at study enrollment.
Researchers used the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test–Consumption (AUDIT-C) questionnaire to determine alcohol-consumption category. Alcohol-related diagnoses were classified as nonhazardous drinking, hazardous/binge drinking or alcohol-related diagnosis.
As the level of alcohol consumption increased, the prevalence for advanced hepatic fibrosis increased across all HIV/HCV groups, the researchers found.
Advanced hepatic fibrosis was more common among patients with HIV vs. patients without HIV (6.7% vs. 1.4% for the nonhazardous category; 9.5% vs. 3% for the hazardous/binge category; and 19% vs. 8.6% for the alcohol-related diagnosis category; P<0.01).
Additionally, patients with HCV were more likely to have advanced hepatic fibrosis when compared with patients without HCV (13.6% vs. 2.5% for the nonhazardous category; 18.2% vs. 3.1% for the hazardous/binge category; and 22.1% vs. 6.5% for the alcohol-related diagnosis category; P<0.01).
Researchers also observed a significant association between advanced hepatic fibrosis among those with HIV/HCV coinfection for nonhazardous drinking (14.2%; 95% CI: 5.91-34), hazardous/binge drinking (18.9%; 95% CI: 7.98-44.8) and alcohol-related diagnoses (25.2%; 95% CI: 10.6-59.7) when compared with uninfected patients who were categorized as nonhazardous drinkers.
“All alcohol use categories were strongly associated with advanced hepatic fibrosis in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients,” Lim and colleagues wrote.
Klein, Lim and Re have received research grant support, and consultant and speaker fees from several pharmaceutical companies. See the full study for full financial disclosures.