Background: The causative relationship between the clearance of infections and long-term, health-related quality-of-life (HRQL) improvements in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been generally accepted. The aim of this study was to assess long-term HRQL trends in HCV patients who did not achieve sustained virologic responses (SVRs) after treatment with direct-acting antivirals.
Methods: HCV patients who completed treatment in clinical trials and did not achieve SVRs were enrolled in a long-term registry (#NCT01457768). HRQL scores were prospectively collected using the short form-36 instrument (8 HRQL domains and 2 summary scores).
Results: There were 242 patients included: they had a median age of 54 years (standard deviation ± 8 years), 85% were male, and 38% had cirrhosis. Before treatment, patients' HRQL scores were similar to the general population norms (all 1-sided P > 0.05), but were followed by significant decreases by the end of treatment (-3.4 to -6.2 points; P < .05 for 5/8 HRQL domains and mental summary). By the time subjects entered the registry, all but 1 of the mean HRQL scores had returned to their pretreatment levels (P > .05). During subsequent periods in the registry, patients experienced further HRQL decrements: up to -9.2 points (P < .05 for all HRQL domains) at Week 24 and up to -8.3 points (P < .05 for 5/8 HRQL domains) at Week 48. Although these HRQL decrements were observed regardless of cirrhosis status, they were more pronounced in patients with cirrhosis (P < .05 for 3/8 HRQL domains).
Conclusions: Patients who did not achieve an SVR after treatment experienced worsening HRQL scores in long-term follow-ups. Retreatment of these patients will be important not only to improve their clinical outcomes, but also their quality of life.
Keywords: health utility; mental health; physical functioning; viral hepatitis; vitality.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.