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Keywords:

  • hepatitis C;
  • interferon alpha;
  • quality of life;
  • depression

Abstract

Twenty-nine HCV-infected patients were treated with pegylated interferon alpha. Diagnosis was based on serum HCV RNA-PCR positive results and liver biopsy. All patients had elevated serum levels of alanine aminotransferase at the time of the study, but liver disease was compensated. Patients were evaluated at baseline treatment and after 4 and 12 weeks of antiviral treatment with the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey. The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview was used to exclude previous or current psychiatric diagnoses. Both patients and psychiatrists were blind to the HCV RNA status, and serum HCV RNA test results only became available after the visit at week 12. After antiviral treatment, 16 patients (55.2%) were classified as nonresponders and 13 (44.8%) were classified as responders. When compared to nonresponders, responders had a greater improvement in the HRQOL scores for the mental health domain (P < .019). Differences in other domains were not significant. The present study confirms that active viral infection is one possible reason for the poor Health-Related Quality of Life in this population. J. Med. Virol. 80:419–423, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.