People with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are on dialysis likely lower their risk of death by treating the virus, Healio reports.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Hepatology, researchers analyzed 2001 to 2013 data on 45,222 people with HCV in Sweden identified through national patient registries. They compared these individuals by matching them five to one with HCV-negative controls from the general population—202,694 individuals all told.

During a cumulative 280,123 years of follow-up among those with hep C, 2.5 percent (1,077) were diagnosed with CKD, compared with 0.7 percent (1,454) of the matched controls, about whom there was a cumulative 1.5 million years of follow-up. This meant that the CKD diagnosis rate was four times higher among those with hep C than those without.

There was a 3.3- to 7-fold higher chance that those with HCV would go on dialysis compared with those who did not have the virus.

Of the 268 people with hep C who did go on dialysis, 45 received treatment for hep C, 27 of them after they started dialysis. Out of the total group of people with hep C on dialysis, 24 percent of those who were treated for hep C died during follow-up compared with 56 percent of those who were not treated. Treating the virus before an individual started dialysis did not factor into the chances of survival.

After adjusting the data for age, kidney transplantation and acute kidney disease, the researchers found that among those with hep C who were on dialysis, not treating the virus was associated with a 2.9-fold increased risk of death compared with treating HCV.

To read the Healio article, click here.

To read the study, click here.