Those with hepatitis B virus (HBV) experience greater liver disease progression if they are coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), while HBV does not appear to worsen the effects of HCV, HIVandHepatitis reports. Researchers analyzed data on 14,698 participants in the ANRS CO22 HEPATHER cohort, of whom 1,099 were coinfected with HCV and HBV, 9,098 had HCV alone, and 4,501 were infected with HBV alone. They presented their findings at the 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria.

There were similar rates of advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis between those with hep C and the coinfected participants: 42 percent and 40 percent, respectively. However, these rates were a great deal higher than the 15 percent rate for the participants with just HBV, indicating that HCV worsened the effects of HBV.

Eighty-seven percent of the coinfected individuals had low levels of HBV in the blood, compared with 67 percent of those with just hep B, indicating that HCV may actually inhibit HBV. Forty-three percent of the coinfected participants had high levels of HCV when they started the study, compared with 49 percent of those with just hep C.

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