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Keywords:

  • hepatitis C;
  • treatment;
  • veterans;
  • adherence;
  • viral hepatitis

Summary.  We prospectively studied 354 patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who were referred to a hepatology specialty clinic to find the reasons for non-treatment of HCV. The median age was 48 years (range 27–77 years), 98.5% were male and 71% were white. Seventy per cent of the patients were not treated. The most common reasons for non-treatment were non-adherence to follow-up visit (24%), normal liver enzymes (14%), concurrent medical problems (11%), alcohol and drug use (9%), psychiatric problems (7%), advanced liver disease (7%), referral for transplant evaluation (6.4%) and patient refusal, transfer of care to another facility and non-detectable HCV RNA levels (5% each). The reason was not recorded for 5% of the patients and was treatment deferred in 2.4% while waiting for pegylated interferon approval. Non-treatment was more likely in patients with less than 12 years of education and a history of incarceration. Patients who were lost to follow-up and refused treatment were more likely to have current alcohol and drug use and a history of incarceration.