Long-term changes on health-related quality of life in patients with chronic hepatitis C after viral clearance with direct-acting antiviral agents
Silvia Goñi Esarte (1) , Regina Juanbeltz (2) , Iván Martínez-Baz (3) , Jesús Castilla (4) , Ramón San Miguel (5) , José Ignacio Herrero (6) , José Manuel Zozaya (1)
Background and aim: new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) achieve high and sustained virological response (SVR) rates, although the long-term effect on patient health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance with DAAs on HRQoL after one year of follow-up.
Methods: this was a prospective observational study of chronic hepatitis C patients who started DAA treatment between May 2016 and April 2017 and completed the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire at baseline, 12 (post-12) and 48 (post-48) weeks after the end of treatment. Patients with SVR were analyzed in order to investigate factors associated with changes in HRQoL.
Results: a total of 199 patients were enrolled, 65% were male, 29% had cirrhosis and 32% had HIV co-infection. The proportion of patients with problems in mobility (from 35% to 21%, p = 0.002), usual activities (26% to 11%, p < 0.001), pain/discomfort (60% to 35%, p < 0.001) and anxiety/depression (57% to 35%, p < 0.001) decreased from the baseline to post-48. The median baseline and post-48 EQ-5D utility and visual analogue scale (VAS) score increased from 0.857 to 0.932 (p < 0.001) and from 70.0 to 90.0 (p < 0.001), respectively. HRQoL improvement was observed in all subgroups of patients.
According to the multivariate analyses, patients with F2-F4 fibrosis had a higher utility and VAS score improvement at post-48 than F0-F1 patients, and females had a greater improvement in the VAS score. Age ≥ 65 years and HIV co-infection were associated with a lower gain in VAS score (all p < 0.05).
Conclusions: hepatitis C virus clearance with DAAs is associated with important long-term improvements in HRQoL. Four of the five EQ-5D-5L dimensions, as well as the utility value and VAS score significantly improved one year after successful treatment with DAAs.