Management of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Heavy Drinkers.

Unité d'Hépatologie et d'Addictologie, Hôpital Cochin, Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris, 27 rue du faubourg Saint Jacques, 75014 Paris, France.
Alcohol and Alcoholism (Impact Factor: 2.89). 03/2013; 48(3). DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agt020
Source: PubMed


AimOptimal management of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is controversial in heavy drinkers. We compared the management of HCV infection of heavy drinkers with that of patients without a history of alcohol abuse.Methods
In a retrospective case-control study, 69 HCV-infected heavy drinkers [daily alcohol consumption at referral above 60 g/day, hereafter 'alcohol group'] were compared with matched HCV-infected patients with low alcohol consumption (<40 g/day, 'control group').ResultsPatients of the 'alcohol group' were younger (42 vs. 45 years, P = 0.05), more often male (69.6 vs. 56.5%, P = 0.11) and had been infected by intravenous drug use (85.5 vs. 45.0%, P < 0.0001). The percentage of patients with a recommendation for treatment according to the French 2002 consensus (bridging fibrosis or genotype 2 or 3) was 52 of 69 (75.4%) in both groups, while the proportion of patients treated was higher in the control group (71.0 vs. 44.9%, P = 0.002). In the 'alcohol group', patients had better access to treatment if they were employed or consumed 170 g/day or less at first referral. Sustained virological response (SVR) was obtained in 10 of 31 patients (32.3%) of the 'alcohol group' vs. 8 of 31 patients (25.8%) of the control group matched for genotype and type of treatment (P = 0.58).Conclusion
Heavy drinkers are less often considered for antiviral therapy compared with patients without a history of alcohol abuse. However, once treatment is actually initiated, SVR rates are comparable with those achieved in non-drinkers despite the continuation of alcohol consumption during therapy in some patients.

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