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Cannabis use worsens hepatitis C

In patients with chronic hepatitis C, daily marijuana smoking is associated with more severe fatty degeneration in the liver.

Cannabis use worsens hepatitis C

In patients with chronic hepatitis C, daily marijuana smoking is associated with more severe fatty degeneration, or steatosis, in the liver. Steatosis is highly prevalent in patients with chronic hepatitis C, and has been reported to increase fibrosis and reduce the rate of viral eradication. Researchers in France investigated the relationship between cannabis use and steatosis grade in 315 patients with untreated chronic hepatitis C who were undergoing a liver biopsy. About two-thirds of the patients never smoked pot, but almost a quarter were daily users, and the remainder were occasional users. Marked steatosis was seen in biopsies from 33 per cent of the daily cannabis smokers compared with about 8 per cent of occasional cannabis users and 16 per cent of non-users. The association between daily cannabis use and marked steatosis persisted after adjustment for alcohol intake. The findings suggest that cannabis use should be discouraged in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Gastroenterology,
February 2008
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