Beating hepatitis C virus (HCV) is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, especially six years after achieving a cure, aidsmap reports.

Researchers studied data on French participants of the ANRS CirVir cohort who were enrolled between 2006 and 2012 and followed for five years or more. These individuals all had compensated cirrhosis (the milder form of the advanced liver disease) and uncured hep C upon entering the cohort. The investigators restricted their analysis to 878 people, followed for a median 57.5 months, who did not have HIV or hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Findings were presented at the 52nd International Liver Congress in Amsterdam.

The researchers looked at the rate of major cardiovascular-related health events during the follow-up period, including stroke, heart attack, angina, peripheral artery disease, heart failure and cardiac arrest.

Sixty-two of the 878 people in the cohort experienced 79 major cardiovascular events during follow-up. Fifteen people died, including seven who died as a result of a cardiovascular event.

Those who were cured of hepatitis C virus (HCV) during follow-up had a 65 percent reduced risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event. However, this finding was not backed by a high level of statistical certainty, with the researchers estimating that the actual risk reduction could have been between 3 and 91 percent. The risk reduction became apparent after three years of follow-up and was stark after six years.    

To read the aidsmap article, click here.