Hepatitis C and health-related quality of life

Patients with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) have a significant decrease in their health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL), although treatment success can mitigate this negative effect. These are among the findings of a systematic review of relevant literature published in the April 2005 issue of Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the journal is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology.

The authors also found that traditional outcomes measured in patients, including liver histology and ALT levels, do not necessarily correspond with HRQOL differences. A panel of experts convened to consider all the data focused on patient-reported vitality as most relevant to HCV-related quality-of-life effects. They established a minimally clinically important HRQOL difference (also called the "MCID") of 4.2 points on the vitality scale.

About 4 million Americans are infected with HCV. While approximately 20 percent of these people eventually develop cirrhosis, the vast majority of people never exhibit clinically significant liver disease. Still evolving data suggests that HCV can diminish quality-of-life even without causing liver disease, perhaps due to HCV symptoms that do not involve the liver, HCV-related cognitive dysfunction, or an association between HCV and comorbid psychosocial disorders.

To better understand how HCV influences health-related quality-of-life, researchers led by Brennan M.R. Spiegel, M.D., M.S.H.S. and Fasiha Kanwal, M.D., M.S.H.S. of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and UCLA, performed the first-ever systematic review of relevant literature. They hoped to establish the minimally clinically important health-related quality-of-life difference in HCV patients so researchers and physicians can better monitor pa

Contact: David Greenberg
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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