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BMC Infect Dis. 2011 Jun 21;11:177. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-11-177.

Effectiveness of treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in an unselected population of patients with chronic hepatitis C: a Danish nationwide cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark.



The effect of peginterferon and ribavirin treatment on chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been established in several controlled clinical studies. However, the effectiveness of treatment and predictors of treatment success in routine clinical practice remains to be established. Our aim was to estimate the effectiveness of peginterferon and ribavirin treatment in unselected HCV patients handled in routine clinical practice. The endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR), determined by the absence of HCV RNA 24 weeks after the end of treatment.


We determined the proportion of SVR in a nationwide, population-based cohort of 432 patients with chronic HCV infection who were starting treatment, and analyzed the impact of known covariates on SVR by using a logistic regression analysis.


The majority of treated patients had genotype 1 (133 patients) and genotype 2/3 (285 patients) infections, with 44% and 72%, respectively, obtaining SVR. Other than genotype, the predictors of SVR were age≤45 years at the start of treatment, completion of unmodified treatment, the absence of cirrhosis and non-European origin.


The effectiveness of peginterferon and ribavirin treatment for chronic hepatitis C in a routine clinical practice is comparable to that observed in controlled clinical trials, with a higher SVR rate in genotype 2 and 3 patients compared to genotype 1 patients. Our data further indicate that age at start of treatment is a strong predictor of SVR irrespective of HCV genotype, with patients 45 years or younger having a higher SVR rate.

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