Longevity can be just as long after being cured of hepatitis C as it would have been if someone never had this disease.
Before direct-acting antiviral medications came on the scene for treating hepatitis C, this disease was often a death sentence for patients who progressed to liver failure or liver cancer. However, over the past few years the newly available treatment options now mean that more than 90% of patients with hepatitis C can be cured of this disease.
A 90% cure rate is amazing. But some patients – even after being cured of hepatitis C – continue to worry about their long-term health. New research in the Journal of Hepatology provides good news for these cured patients, letting them know that their long-term prognosis is excellent.
Patients who complete hepatitis C treatment and were cured of this disease go on to have the same life expectancy as the overall population. This holds true even for patients who developed cirrhosis before embarking on antiviral treatment.
The researchers, while emphasizing the positive message of a potentially long life, also point out the importance of treating patients as early as possible in the disease process, before liver damage occurs.
Savino Bruno et al, Survival of patients with HCV cirrhosis and sustained virologic response is similar to the general population, Journal of Hepatology 2016;64(6). DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2016.01.034
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