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Frequent injection cocaine use increases the risk of renal impairment among hepatitis C and HIV coinfected patients

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To examine the association between injection cocaine use, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and chronic renal impairment (CRI).


Prospective observational cohort study of HIV–HCV coinfected patients.Methods:

Data from 1129 participants in the Canadian Co-Infection Cohort with baseline and follow-up serum creatinine measurements between 2003 and 2014 were analyzed. Prevalent and incident cohorts were created to examine the association between self-reported past, current, and cumulative cocaine use and chronic HCV with CRI. CRI was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate below 70 ml/min per 1.73 m2. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios, and discrete-time proportional-hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios for cocaine use, in the two respective cohorts, adjusted for HCV RNA and important demographic, HIV disease stage, and comorbidity confounders.

Eighty-seven participants (8%) had prevalent CRI. Past injection cocaine use was associated with a two-fold greater risk of prevalent CRI [odds ratio 2.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96, 4.32]. During follow-up, 126 of 1061 participants (12%) developed incident CRI (31 per 1000 person-years). Compared to nonusers, heavy (≥ 3 days/week) and frequent injection cocaine users (≥75% of follow-up time) experienced more rapid progression to CRI (hazard ratio 2.65, 95% CI 1.35, 5.21; and hazard ratio 1.82, 95% CI 1.07, 3.07, respectively). There was no association between chronic HCV and CRI in either cohort.

After accounting for HCV RNA, frequent and cumulative injection cocaine abuse was associated with CRI progression and should be taken into consideration when evaluating impaired renal function in HIV–HCV coinfection.
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Keywords: chronic hepatitis C; cocaine, coinfection, HIV; intravenous substance abuse; renal insufficiency

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: McGill University, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, Montréal, Québec 2: The Ottawa Hospital-General Campus, Ottawa, Ontario 3: Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal – Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec 4: University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario 5: Southern Alberta HIV Clinic, Calgary, Alberta 6: McGill University, Division of Nephrology and Multi-Organ Transplant Program, Department of Medicine, Montréal, Québec 7: .

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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