Infection with the hepatitis C virus increases the risk for developing kidney cancer, physicians at Henry Ford Hospital have found.
Using administrative data from more than 67,000 Henry Ford Health System patients, physicians found that over the period 1997-2008, 0.6 percent patients with hepatitis C infection developed kidney cancer whereas only 0.3 percent patients without the disease developed kidney cancer.
After controlling for age, gender, race and underlying kidney disease, hepatitis C infected patients had nearly double the risk of developing kidney cancer.
"These results add to growing literature that shows that the hepatitis C virus causes disease that extends beyond the liver, and in fact most of our HCV-infected kidney cancer patients had only minimal liver damage," says Stuart C. Gordon, M.D., director of Hepatology at Henry Ford Hospital and lead author of the study.
The study was published in this month's Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.