Reuters Health Information (2005-10-07): Hepatitis does not lower quality of life in HIV patients
Hepatitis does not lower quality of life in HIV patients
Last Updated: 2005-10-07 13:30:25 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - There appears to be no
significant difference in the quality of life among patients with HIV
infection alone and those who also have viral hepatitis, according to
Dr. Brennan M. R. Spiegel told Reuters Health, "despite the widely
held belief that coinfection with HIV and viral hepatitis is much worse
on quality of life than infection with HIV alone, we found that there
is no real difference in quality of life between patients with one
versus both infections."
"This is important," he added, "because some patients with both HIV
and viral hepatitis -- such as hepatitis B or C -- are told that their
quality of life will improve dramatically if they receive treatment for
the viral hepatitis."
Dr. Spiegel of the UCLA/VA Center for Outcomes Research and
Education, Los Angeles and colleagues examined data on a nationally
representative sample of 1874 HIV patients.
Of these, 279 had hepatitis C coinfection and 122 had hepatitis B
coinfection. Twenty of the patients had both hepatitis B and C
coinfection, according to the report in the September issue of the
American Journal of Gastroenterology.
By means of responses to interviews conducted at baseline and twice
during follow-up, the researchers established that there were no
initial differences in physical and mental health or in quality of life
across groups. At follow-up there were still no differences in disease
burden as assessed by quality-of-life questionnaires.
"Our data suggest that treating viral hepatitis in the setting of
HIV might not improve quality of life, independent of whether or not it
improves other biological outcomes like liver damage," continued Dr.
This does not imply that "treatment of viral hepatitis is
contraindicated in the setting of HIV," he added. But "should simply be
kept in mind for patients who are unsure about whether or not to
receive additional antiviral therapy for hepatitis, or for those who
are otherwise ineligible for treatment."
Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1984-1994.