Dr. Weeks’ Comment: We know that low cholesterol is predictive of higher mortality and morbidity and yet the blizzard of hard sell for statins continues. If you have hepatitis C, read about the significance of cholesterol levels. Note that the higher your cholesterol, the more benefit you receive – more studies need to be done but the paradox is out in the open:
“Responders had significantly higher serum baseline levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B compared to non-responders.”
Baseline cholesterol is associated with the response to antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis C.
First Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) partially interacts with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors, suggesting a role for lipids in regulating HCV clearance. Our aim was to study if baseline lipids can discriminate responders from non-responders among patients with HCV infection.
A total of 109 HCV patients were studied. Laboratory measurements included serum lipids, aminotransferases and viral load, as well as HCV genotype determinations.
Responders (n = 53) had significantly higher serum baseline levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B compared to non-responders (n = 56). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that a 10 mg/dL increase in total cholesterol was associated with 3.02 higher odds of responding to treatment (95% CI 1.74-5.32, P < 0.001), while a 10 mg/dL increase in apolipoprotein B levels was associated with 1.81 higher odds of responding to treatment (95% CI 1.37-2.54, P < 0.001), after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking habits, baseline viral load, liver histology and administration of pegylated interferon. An inverse association between BMI and response to treatment was also evident (adjusted odds ratio 0.73, 95% CI 0.55-0.96; P = 0.03).
Baseline serum total cholesterol levels and BMI could be helpful in discriminating responders to antiviral therapy among patients with HCV infection.