Vitamin D Deficiency Is a Risk Factor for Infections in Patients Affected by HCV-Related Liver Cirrhosis.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its impact on HCV-related liver cirrhosis.
Methods: We enrolled 291 patients affected by HCV-related liver cirrhosis. Serum vitamin D levels were dosed at enrolment. The presence of infection was assessed at baseline and during follow-up based on physical examination and laboratory analyses.
Results: Vitamin D deficiency (<20ng/mL) was diagnosed in 68.3% of patients, and a total of 102 infections were detected. Urinary tract infections were the most common infections diagnosed (41.2%). Vitamin D deficiency rates were higher in patients with decompensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh B vs A p=0.008, and Child-Pugh C vs A p=0.024). Infection was significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency (p15 (p=0.003), Child-Pugh class B/C vs A (p<0.001), and active hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (p<0.001). At multivariate analysis, vitamin D deficiency (p<0.01), HCC (p<0.05), hospitalization (p<0.001) and exposure to immunosuppressant agents (p<0.05) were independent risk factors for infection at baseline.
Conclusions: Vitamin D may play a role in the development of infections in patients affected by liver cirrhosis and preventive strategies with vitamin D supplementation are to be evaluated in randomized controlled trials.

Antonio Buonomo
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