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PLoS One. 2018 Oct 9;13(10):e0205277. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205277. eCollection 2018.

Impact of successful treatment with direct-acting antiviral agents on health-related quality of life in chronic hepatitis C patients.

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Department of Pharmacy, Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
Instituto de Salud Pública de Navarra-IdiSNA, Pamplona, Spain.
CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Pamplona, Spain.
Department of Gastroenterology, Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
Department of Economics, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.



Direct-acting antivirals (DAA) have demonstrated high efficacy to achieve sustained virological response (SVR) in chronic hepatitis C patients. We aim to assess the change in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients successfully treated, and to identify predictors of this variation.


In a prospective observational study, patients with chronic hepatitis C who started DAA therapy between May 2016 and April 2017 completed the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire at baseline and 12 weeks after the end of therapy before knowing the virological result. Analysis included all patients with SVR.


Median baseline EQ-5D-5L scores of the 206 enrolled patients were 0.857 utility and 70.0 visual analogue scale (VAS). Following SVR, a reduction occurred in the proportion of patients with mobility problems (35% vs 24%, p = 0.012), pain/discomfort (60% vs 42%, p<0.001) and anxiety/depression (57% vs 44%, p = 0.012), with an increase in utility (+0.053, p<0.001) and VAS (+10, p<0.001). Score improvements were also observed in cirrhotic (+0.048 utility, p = 0.027; +15 VAS, p<0.001) and HIV co-infected patients (+0.039 utility, p = 0.036; +5 VAS, p = 0.002). In multivariate analyses, middle age (45-64 years) and baseline anxiety/depression were associated to greater improvement in utility after SVR, and moderate-advanced liver fibrosis and cirrhosis to greater increase in VAS score. Low baseline values were associated to greater improvements in utility value and VAS score.


The cure of chronic hepatitis C infection with DAA has a short term positive impact on HRQoL with improvement in mobility, pain/discomfort, anxiety/depression, utility value and VAS score. Patients with poor baseline HRQoL were the most beneficed.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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