Dr Laurent Castera and colleagues from France investigated beliefs regarding disease severity and lifestyle changes following Hepatitis C diagnosis.
The team of doctors assessed 185 consecutive chronic Hepatitis C patients by means of self-questionnaires exploring several aspects of their disease.
The team identified that in 93% of patients, cirrhosis and liver cancer were the 2 main complications of chronic Hepatitis C.
More than half of patients thought that chronic Hepatitis C was always associated with a fatal outcome.
The doctors observed that 3% of patients thought that they would stay healthy.
|Sex life changes were reported by 58% of patients|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
Hepatitis C viral load was the most commonly reported factor associated with disease severity.
The team noted that sex life changes were reported by 58% of patients, whereas dietary intake changes were reported by 48%.
Using multivariate analysis, the doctors found that changes in sex life were associated with male gender, perceived disease severity, and anxiety.
Changes in dietary intake were associated with age, and anxiety.
Dr Castera's team commented, “Our results show the considerable impact of chronic hepatitis C diagnosis on patients' lifestyle.”
“This study emphasizes the need for improving chronic Hepatitis C patient counselling in order to avoid unnecessary sex life and dietary intake changes.”