Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
It is known that patients with chronic hepatitis C have a lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) than the general population and evidence suggests that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) could exert direct neuropathic action on HRQOL. From this perspective, the virus clearance should be accompanied by improvement in HRQOL. Thus, we sought to review systematically the evidence in the literature and perform a meta-analysis of HRQOL changes caused by sustained virologic response (SVR).
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
The PubMed was searched using the keywords Hepatitis C, Quality of Life and Therapy. The reviewers came to a consensus on articles that were selected to full reading and those that should be included in the study and a meta-analysis was performed of mean change difference between responders and non-responders.
Eleven studies were included in the systematic review and four in the metaanalysis. Of these, nine studies showed more favorable outcome for responders, and they had a better outcome even in studies that evaluated only cirrhotic patients, previous non-responders, relapsers, patients in first treatment and patients unaware of treatment response. Moreover, the meta-analysis showed that the general health and vitality domains had statistically significant mean change difference between responders and non-responders, presenting a summary effect of 6.3 (CI 95% 2.5-10.0) and 7.8 (CI 95% 3.4- 12.1) respectively.
There is evidence indicating that SVR is accompanied by an improvement in HRQOL and patients reaching SVR have clinically relevant improvement in domains of general health and vitality.