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Hepatitis C

Viral suppression restores life expectancy in hepatitis C-related cirrhosis

Study shows sustained virologic response in patients with hepatitis C and cirrhosis dramatically improves survival.

In patients with cirrhosis and hepatitis C virus (HCV) it has been hard to define the benefit of sustained virologic response (SVR) on patients’ survival because of selection bias and other confounding factors in studies. 

To overcome this, researchers studied 796 patients with HCV-related cirrhosis treated with interferon-based antiviral therapy and compared them with age and sex-matched people from the general population. Overall, 181 (22.7%) achieved SVR. 

Over a median follow-up of 9.6 years, 28 (15.5%) patients who achieved SVR died – a similar rate to the overall population. However, among patients without SVR (n=615), the standardised mortality rate was nearly four times greater than the general population. 

Reporting in the Journal of Hepatology (online, 5 April 2016)[1], the researchers say the results support the case for using non-interferon antiviral therapies to achieve SVR in more patients and sicker patients with HCV.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201169

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