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21-01-2019 | Uitgave 6/2019

Quality of Life Research 6/2019

Health-related quality of life in hepatitis C patients who achieve sustained virological response to direct-acting antivirals: a comparison with the general population

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2019
Regina Juanbeltz, Jesús Castilla, Iván Martínez-Baz, Aisling O’Leary, Maite Sarobe, Ramón San Miguel
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-019-02111-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.

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To compare health-related quality of life (HRQoL) between hepatitis C patients who achieve sustained virological response (SVR) to direct-acting antivirals and a sex- and age-paired sample of the general population.


HRQoL was evaluated in patients recruited in Navarre, Spain, from May 2016 to April 2017 at baseline and after SVR, using the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire. Both results were compared to those of general population of the same sex and age obtained from the 2011/12 National Health Survey in Spain. Observed/expected (O/E) ratios for health dimensions and differences between O-E in EQ-5D utility and visual analogical scale (VAS) scores were calculated.


206 patients were studied. Before treatment, patients had more problems than the general population in every domain of EQ-5D-5L, except in self-care dimension (O/E = 1.1). After SVR, patients continued having more limitation, especially for usual activities (O/E = 3.1), anxiety/depression (O/E = 2.8) and EQ-5D utility (− 0.086, p < 0.001); however, differences in VAS score between patients and general population disappeared (74.8 vs 76.5, p = 0.210). F0–F1 patients with SVR had minor differences with the general population in EQ-5D-5L dimensions, utility and VAS score. Although cirrhotic patients also reduced that difference, they still had worse HRQoL, especially in usual activities, self-care, EQ-5D utility (− 0.152, p < 0.001) and VAS score (− 8.5, p = 0.005).


HRQoL of chronic hepatitis C patients remains lower than that of the general population despite viral clearance, with primary problems in usual activities and anxiety/depression. Knowledge of these on-going problems despite cure serves to guide healthcare interventions and patient’s follow-up.

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