People with HIV who are coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have an increased risk of kidney disease and bone disorders, aidsmap reports. Additionally, among those with HIV and HCV, a failed cure of the latter virus is associated with a higher risk of diabetes compared with a successful cure.

Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers from the Swiss HIV Cohort study analyzed data on about 5,000 people with HIV, half of whom had antibodies to HCV (meaning they had at least been exposed to the virus) and half who did not (meaning they had never been exposed to HCV).

Among those in the study population who were exposed to HCV, 540 had spontaneously cleared the infection (in many cases the immune system will beat the infection within a few months of exposure), 1,295 were chronically infected with HCV but had not been treated for the virus, 345 were treated and cured and 281 were treated but not cured.

Individuals in the overall study cohort were followed for a median 8.2 years. During that time, the respective number of specific health events between those exposed to and those not exposed to HCV were: liver events, 107 and 18 events; kidney events, 41 and 14 events; osteoporosis and fractures, 230 and 121 events; diabetes, 82 and 94 events; cardiovascular disease, 114 and 129 events; non-AIDS-defining cancers, 119 and 147 events; serious HIV-related disease, 162 and 126 events; liver-related death 106 and 10 deaths; non–liver-related death, 227 and 218 deaths.

Compared with those not exposed to HCV, those exposed to the virus had a 6.29-fold increased risk of liver disease, an 8.24-fold increased risk of liver-related death, a 2.43-fold increased risk of kidney disease and a 1.03- to 2.01-fold increased risk of osteoporosis or fracture. The researchers did not find a statistically significant association between HCV exposure and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, non-AIDS-defining cancers, HIV-related disease or non-liver-related death.

When looking just at those who had been exposed to HCV, the researchers found that, compared with those who been treated and cured of the virus, those who had failed treatment had a 6.79-fold increased risk of liver-related health events, a 3.29-fold increased risk of liver-related death and a 4.62-fold increased risk of diabetes.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.