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▶ Freedman ND, Everhart JE, Lindsay KL, et al. Coffee intake is associated with lower rates of liver disease progression in chronic hepatitis C. Hepatology 2009;50:1360–9.

Population studies have shown high coffee consumption to be associated with a lower rate of liver disease and its complications. Freedman et al, examined the relationship of coffee consumption with liver disease progression in 766 participants of the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment against Cirrhosis trial who had bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis on liver biopsy and failed to respond to standard treatment with the antiviral drugs peginterferon and ribavirin. At the onset, Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment against Cirrhosis patients were asked to report their typical frequency of coffee intake and portion size over the past year, using nine frequency categories ranging from “never” to “every day” and four categories of portion size (1 cup, 2 cups, 3–4 cups and 5+ cups). A similar question was asked for black and green tea intake. Participants were followed-up for 3.8 years for clinical outcomes or increase in fibrosis on protocol biopsies. At baseline, higher coffee consumption was associated with less severe steatosis on biopsy, lower serum aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio, α-fetoprotein, insulin and homeostatic model assessment score, and higher albumin (p<0.05 for all). During follow-up, outcome rates declined with increasing coffee intake (p-trend=0.0011). Relative risks (95% CIs) of outcomes were 1.11 (0.76 to 1.61) for <1 cup/day; 0.70 (0.48 to 1.02) for 1–2 cups/day; and …

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