Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Cigarette Smoking in Persons Living with HCV

Am J Med; ePub 2018 Feb 3; Kim, et al

Adults living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) smoked cigarettes at nearly triple the rate of adults who did not have HCV (hepatitis C-), a recent study found. Data were extracted from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999-2014. Persons living with hepatitis (hepatitis C+) were compared to hepatitis C- adults. Complete smoking and HCV data were available for 39,472 (90.1%) of 43,793 adult participants in NHANES during the study years. Researchers found:

  • Hepatitis C+ adults smoked at almost triple the rate of hepatitis C- adults (62.4% vs 22.9%), with no significant difference between hepatitis C+ men and women.
  • Hepatitis C+ smokers were more likely to smoke daily than hepatitis C- smokers but had similar levels of nicotine dependence.
  • Hepatitis C+ smokers were more likely to be older, male, black, less educated, poor, uninsured, use drugs, and be depressed.
  • There were significant associations of both hepatitis C infection and cigarette smoking with current depression and hypertension.


Kim RS, Weinberger AH, Chander G, Sulkowski MS, Norton B, Shuter J. Cigarette smoking in persons living with hepatitis C: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2014. [Published online ahead of print February 3, 2018]. Am J Med. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2018.01.011.

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