Patients of chronic Hepatitis C, who drink three or more cups of coffee daily, have a 53 percent lower risk of liver disease progression than non-coffee drinkers, says a new study.
The study, led by Neal Freedman of National Cancer Institute (NCI), found that patients with hepatitis C related cirrhosis who did not respond to treatment benefited from increased coffee intake. No effect on liver was observed in patients who drank black or green tea.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects approximately 2.2 percent of the world’s population, including three million Americans. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites HCV as the leading cause of liver transplantation in US, accounting for 8,000 to 10,000 deaths, annually.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that three to four million people contract HCV each year with 70 percent becoming chronic cases that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
This study included 766 participants enrolled in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) trial who had hepatitis C-related cirrhosis and failed to respond to standard treatment of the anti-viral drugs peginterferon and ribavirin, according to an NCI release.
Participants were seen every three months during the 3.8-year study period to assess clinical outcomes. Liver biopsies were also taken at 1.5 and 3.5 five years to determine the progression of liver disease.
“Results from our study suggest that patients with high coffee intake had a lower risk of disease progression,” said Freedman.
These findings will appear in the November issue of Hepatology.