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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Low D associated with impaired hepatitis C treatment response

Study finds that people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C who are vitamin D deficient are significantly less likely to have an early or sustained response to treatment than those with normal vitamin D status.

Past research has shown a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in people co-infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. Vitamin D acts as an antiviral, decreasing production of hepatitis C. In hepatitis infected patients (non-HIV), improved response rates to treatment have been observed in patients with sufficient vitamin D levels.

Austrian researchers investigated whether vitamin D was associated with this same response in co-infected people.

The researchers found that only a fifth of participants had sufficient vitamin D levels, defined as >30 ng/mL.

Rates of early virological response (EVR) to hepatitis C treatment differed with vitamin D levels. Ninety-two percent of participants with sufficient levels achieved EVR, while 68% achieved EVR with insufficient levels (10-30 ng/mL), and 47% participants with vitamin D deficiency (

Achieving a sustained virological response (SRV; undetectable hepatitis C viral load 24 weeks after the completion of therapy) was also related to vitamin D status. SRV was achieved in 85% of participants with sufficient vitamin D levels, 60% with insufficiency, and 40% with deficiency.

The authors conclude:

“Vitamin D supplementation should be considered and evaluated prospectively in HIV/HCV coinfected patients receiving CHC treatment.”

Sources:

Mandorfer M, et al. Low vitamin D levels are associated with impaired virologic response to PEGIFN+RBV therapy in HIV/HCV coinfected patients. AIDS. October 2012.

Carter M. Vitamin D deficiency associated with a poorer response to HCV treatment in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients. News. Nam aidsmap. October 2012.