Efficacy of ribavirin plus interferon-α in patients aged ≥60 years with chronic hepatitis C

Takashi Honda, Yoshiaki Katano, Fumihiro Urano, Mutsumi Murayama, Kazuhiko Hayashi, Masatoshi Ishigami, Isao Nakano, Kentaro Yoshioka, Hidenori Toyoda, Takashi Kumada, Hidemi Goto

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In Japan, patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated liver disease are getting older, and thus the number of deaths due to such disease is increasing. The efficacy of combination therapy with ribavirin and interferon for chronic HCV infection in elderly patients has not been fully clarified. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of combination therapy in such patients. Methods: Two hundred and twenty consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis C were treated with combination therapy. These patients were divided into two groups according to age: patients ≥ 60 years (n = 66) and patients < 60 years (n = 154). Clinical characteristics, the sustained virologic response (SVR) rate obtained by intention-to-treat analysis, and the rate of reduction or discontinuation of ribavirin were compared between the two groups. Results: The ribavirin discontinuation rate was significantly higher in the patients aged ≥60 years than in the patients aged <60 years. However, the SVR rates did not differ significantly between patients aged ≥60 years and those aged <60 years (31.8% vs 38.3% by intention-to-treat analysis). According to multivariate analysis, genotype and HCV viral load were significantly associated with SVR while patient age did not affect SVR. Conclusions: Treatment of chronic hepatitis C with combination therapy was comparably effective between patients aged ≥60 years and those aged <60 years, although the ribavirin discontinuation rate was higher among the older patients than the younger patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-995
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 07-2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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