Source Department of Infectious Diseases, Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, 246 Xuefu Road, Nangang District, Harbin 150086, China.
OBJECTIVES: The relationship between patient sex and the effectiveness of peginterferon alpha-2a and ribavirin treatment in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of sex on virologic responses rates in genotype 1 CHC patients.
METHODS: A matched retrospective cohort study of 630 genotype 1 patients treated with peginterferon and ribavirin derived from our hospital database was conducted. These patients were divided into three groups according to age: patients aged <40 years (n=200), patients aged 40-50 years (n=210), and patients aged 51-60 years (n=220). The rate of patients receiving ≥80% of the planned drug dose and virologic response rates were compared between males and females in the three groups. Factors influencing the sustained virologic response (SVR) were studied by multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: In patients aged 51-60 years, the rate of female patients receiving ≥80% of the planned ribavirin dose was significantly lower than that of males (42.7%, 47/110 vs. 61.8%, 68/110; Chi-square=8.035, p=0.005). In patients aged <40 years, the SVR rate of females was significantly higher than that of males (75%, 75/100 vs. 54%, 54/100; Chi-square=9.630, p=0.002); in patients aged 40-50 years, there was no significant difference in the SVR rate between males and females (50.5%, 53/105 vs. 54.3%, 57/105; Chi-square=0.305, p=0.580); in patients aged 51-60 years, the SVR rate of females was significantly lower than that of males (33.6%, 37/110 vs. 48.2%, 53/110; Chi-square=4.814, p=0.028). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the independent factors associated with SVR in patients aged 51-60 years were sex (p=0.013), ≥80% of the planned ribavirin dose (p=0.008), and the presence of a rapid virologic response (p=0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: In the group of patients aged <40 years, the SVR rate of females was higher than that of males; in the group of patients aged 40-50 years, females and males shared similar SVR rates; in the group of patients aged 51-60 years, the SVR rate of females was lower than that of males.