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Am J Gastroenterol. 1996 Jul;91(7):1374-9.

Interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C in habitual drinkers: comparison with chronic hepatitis C in infrequent drinkers.

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  • 1Third Department of Medicine, Saitama Medical School, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the efficacy of interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C among habitual drinkers.

METHODS:

Ninety-five hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid-positive patients with chronic hepatitis were treated with four standardized regiments of interferon. Patients were divided into four groups based on the degree of daily alcohol consumption and duration of abstinence before treatment: 47 infrequent drinkers, 12 moderate drinkers who had consumed more than 23 gm but less than 69 gm of ethanol daily but stopped drinking for 39 +/- 18 months before therapy, 19 heavy drinkers I who had consumed more than 69 gm of ethanol daily but stopped drinking for 38 +/- 37 months before treatment, and 17 heavy drinkers II who consumed more than 69 gm ethanol daily soon before treatment.

RESULTS:

The rate of responders; in whom serum ALT levels remained normal for 6 months after the end of treatment, was in a decreasing order of: infrequent drinkers (36.2%), moderate drinkers (33.3%), heavy drinkers I (26.3%), and heavy drinkers II (5.9%) (p < 0.05, infrequent drinkers vs heavy drinkers II). The negative rate of serum hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid 6 months after the end of treatment was in a similar order (27.7%, 25.0%, 15.8%, and 0%, respectively) (p < 0.05, infrequent drinkers vs heavy drinkers II).

CONCLUSION:

Heavy drinking will reduce the efficacy of interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C, and the adverse effect of drinking on efficacy might be reversed, partly, by abstinence for a long period before treatment.

PMID:
8677998
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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