Treatment eligibility in Alaska Native and American Indian persons with hepatitis C virus infection
Published Date:Apr 24 2012
Source:Int J Circumpolar Health. 2012; 71.
Treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin may prevent progression of liver disease among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). Treatment initiation is based on published clinical eligibility criteria, patients’ willingness to undergo treatment and likelihood of success. We examined treatment eligibility in a cohort of Alaska Native and American Indian persons with chronic HCV infection.
Retrospective cohort study.
Medical records of all treatment naïve HCV RNA positive patients given an appointment by hepatology specialty clinic staff in 2003 and 2007 were evaluated by a hepatology provider to investigate documented reasons for treatment deferral.
Treatment was initiated in 4 of 94 patients (4%) in 2003 and 14 of 146 patients (10%) in 2007. Major reasons for treatment deferral in 2003 versus 2007 included inconsistent appointment attendance (36% of deferrals vs. 18%), active substance abuse (17% vs. 22%), patient decision (17% vs. 27%), liver biopsy without fibrosis or normal ALT (8% vs. 3%), uncontrolled psychiatric condition (7% vs. 7%) and concurrent medical condition (6% vs. 9%). There was significant improvement in proportion of appointments attended in 2007 versus 2003 (76% vs. 67%, p =0.04) and the percentage of patients attending at least 1 appointment (84% vs. 66%, p=0.002).
Multiple reasons for treatment deferral were documented. Despite a significant improvement in hepatology clinic attendance and an increase in the number of patients started on treatment in 2007 compared to 2003, the overall percentage of those treated remained low.
You May Also Like: