Dr Anna Hollander and colleagues from England evaluated health-related quality of life in chronic Hepatitis C.
The researchers assessed the association with mode of acquisition, treatment discontinuations, drop in haemoglobin levels and treatment outcome.
Consecutive unselected 147 Swedish patients with chronic Hepatitis C completed the Short Form-36 questionnaire.
The patients completed the questionnaire before, during and after treatment with interferon and ribavirin.
At baseline, health-related quality of life was reduced in all Short Form-36 subscales in the patients as compared with the general Swedish population.
Former intravenous drug users scored lower in social function, and mental health than those who acquired infection from blood transfusions.
|Hemoglobin levels reduced by 20% or more indicated poorer physical scores|
|Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team noticed a decline of more than 40 points in health-related quality of life in the role limitations-physical score for the drug user and transfusion groups.
The researchers found that patients with a 20% or more drop in hemoglobin levels at treatment week 12 had a significantly poorer role limitations-physical score.
These patients also had a poorer role limitations-emotional score than patients with a 10% or less drop in haemoglobin levels.
Early treatment dropouts had significantly lower health-related quality of life scores at baseline than adherent patients.
At follow-up, sustained viral responders had significantly higher scores than non-responders.
Dr Hollander's team commented, “Swedish outpatients with chronic Hepatitis C have a marked reduction in their health-related quality of life as compared to the general population.”
“Therapy reduces health-related quality of life most substantially in those with a marked reduction in hemoglobin.”
“Early dropouts from therapy have significantly lower health-related quality of life scores at baseline than adherent patients.”
“Sustained viral responders improve their health-related quality of life significantly more than non-responders.”