Article: Eradication of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Patients With Cirrhosis Reduces Risk of Liver and Non-Liver Complications—Nahon et. al
Study Aims and Results: The authors evaluate if curing hepatitis C reduces illness and death. Information was collected from 35 centers located throughout France. The data included 1,323 hepatitis C patients with compensated cirrhosis—the cirrhotic patients did not have complications from cirrhosis. Compensated cirrhosis was confirmed by liver biopsy.
Editorial Note: Compensated cirrhosis is the first stage of cirrhosis. People with compensated may experience few or no symptoms. The medical goal of people infected with chronic hepatitis C who have progressed to compensated cirrhosis is to treat it, and cure it
The patients were treated with interferon-based therapy and direct-acting antiviral therapies.
Conclusion: After a mean follow-up period of 58 months, 50.5% (668 patients) were cured. Being cured of hepatitis C was associated with decreased rate of liver cancer, and decreased progression to decompensated cirrhosis. Curing hepatitis C also lowered the risk of cardiovascular events (heart disease), and bacterial infections.
In the entire study, 175 patients or 13.5% died during the follow-up period—this means that there was an 88.6% 5-year survival. Ninety-one patients died of liver complications and 66 patients died of non-liver complications.
The study was able to confirm that being cured of chronic hepatitis C improved liver related health and importantly non-liver related health issues such as cardiovascular deaths.
Editorial Comments: This is a fairly large and encouraging study. Most people who were cured of hepatitis C had positive long-term outcomes. There is a need for more and larger studies with only direct-acting antiviral medications to fully understand the long-term benefits of curing people with hepatitis C.
Anecdotally, I hear from many people that they feel so much better physically, emotionally and spiritually after being cured that it feels like a second lease on life.Share This Page