AIM: To evaluate the impact of the diagnosis of hepatitis C infection on lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, sports activity and diet.METHODS: A self-administered, anonymous question-naire was offered to out-patients with HCV infection consecutively attending three clinical centres in Italy.RESULTS: Of the 275 respondents, 62.2% (171) were male. Mean age was 51 (range 20-80) years. Overall, after the diagnosis of hepatitis C, 74.5% of drinkers had modified (giving up or reducing) alcohol consumption, 21.3% of smokers had modified their habits and 32.3% of subjects who reported sports activity had either stopped or reduced frequency of activity or chose a less fatiguing sport. Sixty-four percent of the respondents reported having modified their diet, most of them on physician's advice.CONCLUSION: After the diagnosis of hepatitis C many patients correctly modified their alcohol consumption and a minority their smoking habits. The reason for reported changes in diet and physical activity needs further investigations.