Virologic response to therapy increases health-related quality of life for patients with chronic hepatitis B.


BACKGROUND & AIMS We evaluated changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a longitudinal study of patients given antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B (CHB). METHODS We analyzed changes in HRQoL reported by 2856 Korean patients with CHB who started first-line or rescue antiviral therapy from January 2007 to June 2007; the mean age of the study subjects was 43.3 years, 72% were male, 80% were positive for hepatitis B e antigen, 20% had cirrhosis, and 13% had concomitant disease. These subjects all completed the translated version of the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ) and the EuroQol-5 Dimension (EQ5D) when the study began (baseline), and at the end of a 24-week follow-up period. We analyzed changes in utility scores from baseline to 24 weeks of antiviral treatment. RESULTS After 24 weeks of antiviral therapy, patients had significant improvements in liver function and reduced mean levels of hepatitis B virus DNA (from 6.3 to 3.9 log(10) copies/mL). Utility scores from the visual analogue scale and EQ5D improved after 24 weeks of antiviral therapy (from 0.84 ± 0.19 to 0.94 ± 0.14; P < .0001). Improved CLDQ scores were associated with virologic response (level of hepatitis B virus DNA, <4 log(10) copies/mL); scores increased from 5.21 ± 0.99 at baseline to 6.09 ± 0.72 after 24 weeks of antiviral therapy in responders, but from 5.31 ± 0.94 at baseline to 6.06 ± 0.66 in nonresponders (P = .003). CONCLUSIONS Patients with CHB who have a virologic response to 24 weeks of antiviral therapy also have significant improvements in HRQoL, measured by EQ5D and CLDQ.


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