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Impact of caffeine in hepatitis C virus infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Wijarnpreecha, Karn; Thongprayoon, Charat; Ungprasert, Patompong

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: January 2017 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 17–22
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000757
Original Articles: Hepatitis

Background/objectives Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the most common causes of cirrhosis. Several studies have linked caffeine consumption to a lower degree of liver fibrosis and inflammation among patients with chronic HCV infection, but the results were inconsistent. This meta-analysis was carried out with the aim of assessing the impact of caffeine consumption among HCV-infected patients.

Participants and methods A literature search was performed using MEDLINE and EMBASE from inception to January 2016. Studies that reported relative risks, odd ratios, or hazard ratios comparing the risk of advanced liver fibrosis or the risk of moderate to severe liver inflammation among HCV-infected patients who consumed caffeine on a regular basis versus those who did not were included. Pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using a random-effect, generic inverse-variance method.

Results Five studies were included in the fibrosis analysis. The pooled OR of advanced liver fibrosis in HCV-infected patients who consumed caffeine on a regular basis versus those who did not was 0.48 (95% CI, 0.30–0.76, I 2=52%). Three studies were included in the inflammation analysis. The pooled OR of moderate to severe histologic inflammation among HCV-infected patients who consumed caffeine on a regular basis versus those who did not was 0.61 (95% CI, 0.35–1.04, I 2=43%).

Conclusion Our study showed a decreased risk of advanced liver fibrosis and liver inflammation among HCV-infected patients who consumed caffeine on a regular basis. Whether consumption of caffeine plays a role in the management of HCV infection requires further investigations.

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aDepartment of Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, New York

bDepartment of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

cDepartment of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence to Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center, One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326, USA Tel: +1 607 547 4805; fax: +1 607 547 6612; e-mail: dr.karn.wi@gmail.com

Received March 14, 2016

Accepted April 14, 2016

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