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Chonnam Med J. 2012 Apr;48(1):21-6. doi: 10.4068/cmj.2012.48.1.21. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Body mass index and nonresponse to antiviral treatment in korean patients with genotype 2 and 3 chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Chonnam University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.


Pegylated-interferon plus ribavirin is the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C. Sustained virological response (SVR) rates of up to 80% are reported in genotype 2 and 3 chronic hepatitis C cases. Obesity, a modifiable risk factor, may have a deleterious effect on antiviral treatment. We performed this study to examine the efficacy and safety of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin therapy in Korean patients with genotype 2 and 3 chronic hepatitis C and to investigate the risk factors for nonresponse to antiviral treatment. A total of 121 patients were treated with peginterferon alpha-2a 180 mcg/week plus ribavirin 800 mg/day for 24 weeks. The end-of-treatment virologic response (ETVR), the SVR, the end-of-treatment biochemical response (ETBR), the sustained biochemical response (SBR), and the adverse events were analyzed. The ETVR and SVR were 94.1% and 89.1%, respectively. The ETBR was 80.2% and the SBR was 96%. Multivariate analysis showed that a body mass index of 25 and over was the only independent factor that affected the SVR (odds ratio=10.5, 95% confidence interval: 2.006-54.948, p=0.005). Twenty patients (16.5%) dropped out at the end of treatment, and 7 (5.8%) patients discontinued treatment because of treatment-related adverse events. Our study showed that combination therapy with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin as an initial treatment for genotype 2 and 3 chronic hepatitis C is very effective and safe, and that body mass index is an independent risk factor for nonresponse to antiviral treatment in patients with genotype 2 and 3 chronic hepatitis C.


Body mass Index; Hepatitis C, chronic; Peginterferon alfa-2a; Ribavirin

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