Direct acting antivirals have overcome many long-standing medical barriers to hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, and treatment outcome disparities that were associated with interferon regimens.
The public health and clinical benefit of current and forthcoming DAA discoveries will be limited if efforts are not made to examine racial, psychological, and socioeconomic factors associated with being treated with direct acting antivirals.
Dr Omar Sims and colleagues examined racial, psychological, and socioeconomic factors that facilitate and inhibit patients receiving direct acting antivirals for HCV.
The research team performed a single-center retrospective cohort study at a large urban tertiary center of patients who were referred for evaluation and treatment of HCV.
|29% of patients did not receive treatment|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The team found that 68% of patients were non-Hispanic White, 31% were African American, and 1% were of other ethnicities.
The researchers observed that the majority of patients received treatment, but 29% did not.
The team observed that patients who were older, and insured were more likely to receive HCV treatment.
Patients who were African American, used drugs, smoked, and used alcohol were less likely to receive HCV treatment.
Dr Sims' team comments, "Though direct acting antivirals have eliminated many historically, long-standing medical barriers to HCV treatment, several racial, psychological and socioeconomic barriers, and disparities remain."
"Consequently, patients who are African American, uninsured, and actively use drugs and alcohol will suffer from increased HCV-related morbidity and mortality in the coming years if deliberate public health and clinical efforts are not made to facilitate access to direct acting antivirals."