Objectives To demonstrate the survival benefit from sustained virological response (SVR) in a safety net hospital population with limited resources for hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy.
Design and setting We conducted a retrospective study at an urban safety net hospital in the USA.
Participants and intervention 242 patients receiving standard HCV therapy between 2001 and 2006.
Primary and secondary outcome measures Response rates, including SVR, were recorded for each patient. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of SVR and 5-year survival.
Results A total of 242 eligible patients were treated. Treatment was completed in 197 (81%) patients, with 43 patients discontinuing therapy early—32 due to adverse events and 11 due to non-compliance. Complications on treatment were frequent, including three deaths. SVR was achieved in 83 patients (34%). On multivariate analysis, independent predictors of a decreased likelihood of achieving SVR included African–American race (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.54), genotype 1 HCV infection (OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.50) and the presence of cirrhosis (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.58). Survival was 98% in those achieving SVR (median follow-up 72 months) and 71% in non-responders and those discontinuing therapy (n=91, median known follow-up 65 and 36 months, respectively). On multivariate analysis, the only independent predictor of improved survival was SVR (HR 0.12, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.52). Both cirrhosis and hypoalbuminaemia were independent predictors of increased mortality.
Conclusions Treatment before histological cirrhosis develops, in combination with careful selection, may improve long-term outcomes without compromising other healthcare endeavours in safety net hospitals and areas with financial limitations.
- INFECTIOUS DISEASES
- HEALTH ECONOMICS
- PUBLIC HEALTH
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