Liver disease is more severe in chronic hepatitis C patients who have also been previously infected with the hepatitis B virus, according to a study reported in the July issue of the Saudi Medical Journal.
Researchers from Armed Forces Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia studied 100 Saudi patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Of the participants, 43 patients lacked hepatitis B virus antibodies and served as controls, while 57 patients were positive for hepatitis B antibodies.
Nearly four in five patients with hepatitis C infection who had hepatitis B antibodies were likely to become cirrhotic, compared to just slightly fewer than one in two patients in the control group.
When present, cirrhosis was more likely to be decompensated in patients with hepatitis B virus antibodies (37 percent) compared to none of those without such antibodies.
Other sources: Saudi Medical Journal 2003 Jul;24 Suppl 2:S144