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Hepatitis C is not a 'silent disease'

Benefits of new combination therapy are not just long-term

The benefits of treating hepatitis C are not just the prevention of potential serious liver complications, but are more immediate in terms of the quality of life of patients. "Hepatitis C is not a silent disease," says Dr. John E. Ware, Jr. of Quality Metric, Inc. in Lincoln, Rhode Island. "The disease limits patients substantially in terms of what they are able to do and how they feel," says Ware. Successful treatment improves quality of life and is likely to lead to a reduced need for health care services and increased productivity at work, according to Ware.

The results of the first international study of quality of life outcomes in hepatitis C conducted by the International Hepatitis Interventional Therapy Group are reported by Ware and his colleagues in the August issue of HEPATOLOGY, the monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

"This study is the first to link the clinical success of new combination therapies for hepatitis C to how much patients are helped in their everyday lives. Those who were treated successfully according to clinical tests were also the only ones who improved in terms of their quality of life as measured by energy level, social functioning with friends and relatives, and reductions in their level of distress," Ware says.

Over 300 patients in ten countries participated in this international study, using a self-administered Hepatitis Quality of Life Questionnaire that is available from QualityMetric, Inc. (www.qmetric.com ). By translating the quality of life questionnaires into other languages, results observed in the United States and the United Kingdom for English-speaking patients could be compared with results in other countries. Comparisons revealed a similar pattern of results, although similarit
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Contact: Kirk Monroe
Kirkmonroe@aol.com
202-789-8101
American Association For The Study of Liver Diseases
11-Aug-1999


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