ABSTRACT: Only a small proportion of subjects referring to hospitals for hepatitis C virus (HCV) positivity receives antiviral therapy.
To evaluate the rate of antiviral treatment and the causes for no treatment in HCV-RNA positive subjects seen in hospital settings.
A prospective study enrolling over a 6-month period (February-July 2009) all consecutive anti-HCV positive subjects initially referred (naïve patients) to 12 liver units in Southern Italy for HCV treatment.
Out of 608 subjects evaluated, 74 (12.2%) had no detectable HCV-RNA in the serum and thus were excluded. Of the remaining 534 HCV-RNA positive subjects, 357 (66.9%) were not treated for the following reasons: 49.9% were older than 65 years of age (75% of them >70 years), 14.3% had normal liver enzymes, 13.2% had compensated/decompensated cirrhosis, 10.4% refused treatment, 9.8% had ongoing substance or alcohol abuse. Multivariate analysis showed that females (O.R. 2.27; C.I. 95% 1.05-4.90) and subjects with low educational level (O.R. 4.38; C.I. 95% 1.27-15.11) were more likely to decline therapy.
The majority of patients with HCV infection does not receive antiviral treatment. The effectiveness of the current standard therapy for HCV infection is low despite its good efficacy.
Digestive and Liver Disease 04/2010; 42(11):822-5. · 3.05 Impact Factor