Coffee drinking improves hepatitis C treatment response

Advanced hepatitis C patients with chronic liver disease may benefit from drinking coffee during treatment, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. Patients who received peginterferon plus ribavirin treatment and who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were two times more likely to respond to treatment than non-drinkers.

"Coffee intake has been associated with a lower level of , reduced progression of and reduced incidence of ," said Neal Freedman, PhD, MPH, of the National Cancer Institute and lead author of this study. "Although we observed an independent association between coffee intake and virologic response to treatment, this association needs replication in other studies."

Among non-drinkers, 46 percent had an early virologic response; 26 percent had no detectable serum (HCV) ribonucleic acid at week 20; 22 percent had no detectable serum at week 48; and 11 percent had a sustained virologic response. In contrast, the corresponding proportions for those who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were 73 percent, 52 percent, 49 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of individuals exposed to HCV become chronically infected. Worldwide, these individuals are estimated to number between 130 and 170 million. Higher has been associated with slower progression of pre-existing liver disease and lower risk of liver cancer. However, the relationship with response to anti-HCV treatment had not been previously evaluated. Treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin resolves in about half of patients. It is unknown whether coffee will improve response with the addition of new drugs that were recently approved for use in the U.S.

Because patients in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis Trial also had previously failed interferon therapy, it is not clear whether the results can be generalized to other patient populations. Future studies among patients with less advanced disease, those who are treatment-naïve to prior therapy, or who are being treated with newer antiviral agents are needed.

More information: www.gastro.org/patient-center/… conditions/hepatitis

Related Stories

Researcher Announced Cure for Hepatitis C

May 22, 2007

The use of peginterferon alone, or in combination with ribavirin, points to a cure for hepatitis C, the leading cause of cirrhosis, liver cancer and the need for liver transplant, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher ...

Recommended for you

Marijuana users who feel low get high

Sep 15, 2014

Adolescents and young adults who smoke marijuana frequently may attempt to manage negative moods by using the drug, according to a study in September's Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Ten percent of Americans admit to illicit drug use

Sep 04, 2014

(HealthDay)—Nearly 10 percent of Americans aged 12 and older were illicit drug users in 2013, and almost 20 million said they used marijuana, making it the most widely used drug, U.S. health officials reported ...

User comments