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Fibrosis progression vs activity level
Oct 29, 2004

I have had Hep C genotype 1 for almost 30 years. Last year I did 48 weeks of Pegasus treatment w ribavirin and was undetectable until immediately after the treatment ended. Biopsy showed stage 1 fibrosis. There is no treatment my doctor recommends currently. My question concerns my activity level. I am a marathon runner, running 50 miles per week and I'm wondering if the high activity level is going to increase the progression of the desease. The only thing I have found about this was an article stating that hard prolonged exercise lowers the resistance of the immune system.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would continue exercising as you are. You are in excellent shape and probably are not overweight. Obesity is a risk factor for fat infiltration in the liver and this has been recently shown to increase the risk for scarring in patients with hepatitis C.

Avoid alcohol and keep trim. Stay tuned for more information regarding treatment of patients who relapsed. The liver meetings will be held in Boston and there may be new information regarding longer treatment for patients like you who responded and then relapsed later. There will also undoubtedly be new medications in the next five years to try. Luckily your disease is mild so you have time on your side. Also the fact that you had hepatitis C for 30 years and only have mild disease is terrific. I would pursue repeat biopsy in 4-5 years after the first one to confirm non-progression. Dr. McGovern



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