Hepatitis C infected patients have significant health-related quality of life impairment which worsens during anti-viral therapy.
Dr Amy Dana and colleagues examined the association of health-related quality of life with treatment-induced depression and anemia.
The research team included 271 Hepatitis C patients who received pegylated interferon alfa 2b and ribavirin.
Data on health-related quality of life, depressive symptoms, laboratory values and socio-demographic characteristics were collected.
The mean age of the patients was 47 years, 69% were male, and 73% were White.
The researchers found that the patients' health-related quality of life declined during anti-viral therapy.
However, the health-related quality of life returned to or exceeded baseline levels within 24 weeks of completion.
The team noted that anemia and depression were both associated with health-related quality of life impairment.
The effects of depression on health-related quality of life were strong.
Once the team included depression scores, other factors were no longer significant.
|Patients with cirrhosis, and women report more quality of life impairments|
|Journal of Hepatology|
Patients' depressive symptoms tended to increase during the initial half of treatment regimen.
The team observed that those with higher body mass index, cirrhosis, and women reported more health-related quality of life impairments.
Health-related quality of life scales were generally not associated with alcohol abuse, age, race, alanine aminotransferase, and Hepatitis C RNA levels.
Dr Dana's team concludes, “Anti-viral therapy for Hepatitis C is associated with diminished health-related quality of life.”
“Although anemia and depression were associated with this impairment, depression was the most consistent predictor.”
“Future studies are needed to see whether proactive management of these side effects can improve patients' health-related quality of life, and the efficacy of antiviral therapy for Hepatitis C.”