Spontaneous clearance of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV)—when viral levels drop to undetectable without drug treatment during the early phase of infection—is twice as likely to occur in women than in men. Publishing their findings in the journal Hepatology, researchers drew data from the InC3 Study, which is a collaboration of nine prospective studies from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States. The participants of this analysis included 632 people with acute hep C who were recruited for the InC3 Study between 1985 and 2010.

Among the group, 35 percent were female, 82 percent were Caucasian, 96 percent had injected drugs, 47 percent had genotype 1 of hep C, and 5 percent were coinfected with HIV.

A total of 173 out of the 632 participants spontaneously cleared the virus during the follow-up. One year after contracting hep C, a quarter had cleared the infection. The median time it took to reach clearance was 16.5 weeks. A cumulative 34 percent, 67 percent and then 83 percent had achieved clearance at the three-, six- and 12-month marks, respectively.

Females were 2.16 times more likely to clear the virus when compared with males. Those with the IL28B genotype of hep C were 2.26 times more likely when compared with those who had the CT or TT genotypes. And those with genotype 1 were 1.56 times more likely when compared with those who had other numerals of hep C genotypes.

To read the study abstract, click here.