Digestive Disease Week
Digestive Disease Week
Issue: June 2013
May 21, 2013
1 min read

SVR associated with better quality of life in chronic HCV

Issue: June 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. — After receiving interferon-based therapy, patients with chronic hepatitis C who had a sustained virologic response had a better quality of life, regardless of genotype, age and opioid maintenance, findings presented here at Digestive Disease Week suggest.

“There are limited data from a real-life setting about quality of life after interferon-based treatment,” Stefan Mauss, MD, of the Center for HIV and Hepatogastroenterology in Düsseldorf, Germany, told Infectious Disease News. “This is a difficult thing to measure because many patients have other comorbidities, such as drug use, that could also affect the psychological well-being.”

Mauss and colleagues conducted a survey among patients who received treatment at least 3 years ago. The 1,355 patients were enrolled from May 2009 to October 2010. The researchers used the SF-36 questionnaire to evaluate quality of life.

Among the patients who are still under routine medical care, 759 had achieved sustained virologic response (SVR) after treatment with interferon and ribavirin. After a median follow-up of 4 years, patients who achieved SVR had higher scores of the SF-36 survey, which suggests improvement in health-related quality of life. The patients who achieved SVR also had a higher frequency of employment, a higher number of working hours and a lower number of outpatient and inpatient visits.

The researchers stratified the groups by genotype and age, and SVR was still associated with a better quality of life and productivity. Similarly, drug users who were on opioid maintenance and achieved SVR also had a higher quality of life, higher frequency of employment and a higher number of working hours a week.

“Hepatitis C, like many infectious diseases, can have a significant effect on social life and relationships, which can change after the disease is eradicated,” Mauss said.

Mauss said data from studies on this topic are biased because interferon-based treatment is so toxic that patients feel relieved when it is over. It may be different with similar data following interferon-free regimens.

“Interferon-free regimens are a game changer,” Mauss said. “Treatment is much easier and it’s a completely different situation.”

For more information:

Mauss S. #Sa1034. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 18-21, 2013; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Mauss reports financial relationships with Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Janssen-Cilag and Roche.