Ascorbic acid supplement use and the prevalence of gallbladder disease. Heart & Estrogen-Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) Research Group.
Simon JA. Grady D. Snabes MC. Fong J. Hunninghake DB.
General Internal Medicine Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.
To investigate the relation of ascorbic acid supplement use to gallbladder disease and cholecystectomy, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline from 2744 postmenopausal women, aged 44-79 years, enrolled in the Heart & Estrogen-progestin Replacement Study (HERS), a secondary coronary heart disease prevention trial. A total of 629 HERS participants (23%) reported a history of gallbladder disease. Of these, 508 (19%) also reported a history of cholecystectomy. In bivariate models, ascorbic acid supplement use was associated with a decreased prevalence of gallbladder disease [odds ratio (OR)=0.74; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.57, 0.96] and a trend toward a decreased prevalence of cholecystectomy (OR=0.77; 95% CI, 0.58, 1.02). Because we detected significant interactions between ascorbic acid supplement use and alcohol consumption, multivariate analyses were performed stratified by drinking status. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, use of ascorbic acid supplements among drinkers was associated with a decreased prevalence of gallbladder disease (adjusted OR=0.50; 95% CI, 0.31, 0.81) and cholecystectomy (adjusted OR=0.38; 95% CI, 0.21, 0.67). Use of ascorbic acid supplements among non-drinkers was not significantly associated with either prevalence of gallbladder disease or cholecystectomy. Further study is necessary to confirm our findings and, specifically, to examine the combined effects of ascorbic acid and alcohol on cholesterol metabolism.
Factors associated with serum HCV RNA positivity in anti-HCV antibody positive intravenous drug users.
Pirisi M. Toniutto P. Fabris C. Lombardelli T. Falleti E. Tisminetzky SG. Baralle F. Bartoli E.
Dipartimento di Patologia e Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, Universita degli Studi di Udine, Italy.
Serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA, HCV genotypes and liver function tests were evaluated in a series of 189 unselected, consecutive anti-HCV positive intravenous drug users (IVDUs). Serum HCV RNA was detected in 106/189 patients. Abnormal liver function tests were associated with alcohol abuse, but not with the presence of serum HCV RNA. Among 109 patients retested after a mean follow-up of 21 months, 41 were intermittently serum HCV RNA positive. Patients persistently negative had more commonly a past history of acute hepatitis. A history of prostitution and/or a pattern of abuse involving >30 injections per week were related to infection by genotype 3a. In conclusion, serum HCV RNA is either transiently or persistently detectable in most anti-HCV positive IVDUs, but bears no association with abnormal liver biochemistry. Infection by HCV-3a is more common in IVDUs with more deviant life styles. In those cases where serum HCV RNA is found repeatedly negative, HCV infection may have been cleared, possibly through an episode of acute hepatitis.