Background and Aims: The population of patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is aging, and the number of older patients with HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of peginterferon and ribavirin combination therapy on prevention of HCC in older patients with chronic hepatitis C (CH-C). Methods: We compared the sustained virological response (SVR) and treatment discontinuation rates between older (≥65 years) and younger patients (<65 years) among 1280 CH-C patients treated with peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin. Cumulative incidence of HCC was determined by Kaplan-Meier analysis, and factors associated with liver carcinogenesis were analyzed by Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Older patients had a significantly lower SVR rate and a significantly higher discontinuation rate of treatment than younger patients. Fifty patients developed HCC during median follow-up period of 47 months. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis indicated that the following were independent risk factors associated with the development of HCC: older age, male, advanced fibrosis, non-SVR in all patients: higher gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, and non-SVR in older patients. Older patients who achieved SVR had a significantly reduced rate of HCC compared with those who did not achieve SVR, especially those who had gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase over 44IU/L. Conclusions: The SVR rate was lower and the combination therapy discontinuation rate was higher in older CH-C patients than in younger patients. However, older patients who achieved SVR had a markedly lower rate of HCC development compared with older patients who did not achieve SVR.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)|
|Publication status||Published - 01-02-2015|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes