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Hepatol Int. 2011 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Efficacy of combined pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy in Jewish patients of Israel suffering from chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Faculty of Health Sciences, The Barzilai Medical Centre, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel, delgado@bgu.ac.il.



The efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in the Jewish population has not been previously ascertained. The aims of our study were to determine the efficacy of pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy in an Israeli outpatient practice.


The medical records of 331 consecutive naïve patients with CHC infection treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin between 2003 and 2010 were reviewed in order to document the virological response to the combination therapy. We used logistic regression to identify predictors for the sustained virological response (SVR). Variable selection in multivariable modeling was based on clinical and statistical significance and performed in a hierarchical fashion. First demographic characteristics, then patient clinical characteristics, viral characteristics, and finally adherence to the therapy were introduced into the model.


The overall SVR was 57.1% (42.5% in genotype 1, 87.5% in genotype 2, 81.6% in genotype 3, and 100% in genotype 4). SVR was significantly associated with genotype 2 (OR 3.77, 95% CI 1.04-13.60, P = 0.04), genotype 3 (OR 9.72, 95% CI 4.07-23.20, P < 0.001), baseline viral load lower than 400,000 IU/mL (OR 23.1, 95% CI 8.23-64.98, P < 0.001), and adherence to the 80/80/80 rule (OR 36.22, 95% CI 11.14-117.72, P < 0.001).


Combined pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy was of similar or even higher efficacy in the Israeli population as compared to that reported by international trials in Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American populations.

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