THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The incidence of Parkinson disease (PD) is lower for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who receive interferon-based antiviral therapy, according to a study published online June 5 in JAMA Neurology.

Wey-Yil Lin, M.D., from Landseed International Hospital in Taoyuan, Taiwan, and colleagues examined the risk for PD development in patients with HCV infection receiving antiviral treatment and those not receiving treatment using claims data obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 188,152 patients were categorized into treated and untreated groups. For comparison of main outcomes, propensity score matching was performed to balance the covariates across groups; 39,936 patients were retained in the treated and untreated groups.

The researchers found that the incidence density of PD was 1.00 and 1.39 per 1,000 person-years in the treated and untreated groups, respectively. At five-year follow-up, the advantage of antiviral therapy reached statistical significance (hazard ratio, 0.75); this advantage continued to increase until the end of follow-up (hazard ratio, 0.71).

“The results seem to support the theory that HCV infection is a risk factor for developing PD. Antiviral therapy has shown potential in lowering this risk,” the authors write.

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