Aim of the study: Ongoing national screening programmes suggest that the prevalence of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in Poland ranges between 0.5% and 1%. It has been recently noted that patients with confirmed coronary artery disease may be at higher risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
Material and methods: Testing for the presence of anti-HCV antibodies was performed in a group of patients admitted to the Cardiology Department with symptomatic ischemic heart disease (IHD) and in patients hospitalised in the Dermatology Department.
Results: A total of 1171 patients underwent anti-HCV testing: 672 patients in the Cardiology Department (K group) and 499 patients in the Dermatology Department (D group). Twenty-eight (2.4%) positive anti-HCV results were detected. The prevalence of positive anti-HCV antibodies in groups K and D was 2.23% and 2.61%, respectively (p > 0.05). Presence of HCV RNA was confirmed in 15 cases (1.28%) - 7 patients in group K and 8 patients in group D (1.04% and 1.6%, respectively; p > 0.05).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that this patient cohort has increased risk of HCV infection, which may influence screening strategies.
Keywords: HCV treatment; anti-HCV antibody; coronary artery disease; hepatitis C; screening.