Is it true that there is a high risk of death if one contracts Hepatitis A after they contract Hepatitis C? If so, you'd think there ought to be more noise about this in health publications and also in the media.

  • Are you sure you mean hepatitis A and C? All I can find is on B and C (or C and HIV)
    – YviDe
    Mar 18, 2016 at 17:31
  • Hepatitis A clearly exists and shows up in Google searches, so I'm guessing you're talking about Google hits with respect to searches involving complications of two diseases. And I agree - there seems to be nothing online about it! The original source and basis for my question is House M.D., season 6 or 7. The entire cast agrees that, given a patient who has Hepatitis C, if they infect him with Hepatitis A, there is a 15% it will cure him outright, but an 85% chance it will kill him. The entire cast went along with this plot point.
    – user11077
    Mar 24, 2016 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


In Fulminant Hepatitis Associated with Hepatitis A Virus Superinfection in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C, out of 17 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection who also got infected with hepatitis A, 6 died, so about one third.

In an Italian population based study, 77 patients with chronic hepatitis C (52 with hepatitis C, 25 with hepatitis C and hepatitis B) also got infected with hepatitis A. None died from the hepatitis A infection. This is a published letter to the journal the first study appeared in - the researchers from Italy wrote in because they were surprised by the high mortality rate in the US study, as they had seen no such correlation.

Hepatitis A virus vaccination in persons with hepatitis C virus infection: consequences of quality measure implementation pooled data from 10 studies and puts the mortality rate for hepatitis C patients with a hepatitis A superinfection at around 7 percent (95 percent confidence interval: 1.24-42.12)

That figure of 85 percent dying that the TV show House MD mentioned is made up.

Vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended for chronic hepatitis C patients by

  • 1
    I am willing to believe the statistics were made up on House M.D. My question, though, was whether there is a high risk of death when one contracts HepA after they contracted HepC. You first study has a mortality rate of 35%! The third has it as 7%. So perhaps it's not high", but instead startling. So I'd say, whatever it is, it sounds like it's more than enough to start publicizing this more! And I also think there's no question - you have provided very good source material!
    – user11077
    Mar 25, 2016 at 3:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.