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All-Cause Mortality and Liver-Related Outcomes Following Successful Antiviral Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C



Antiviral therapy for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) reduces all-cause and liver-related morbidity and mortality. Few studies are available from populations with multiple medical and psychiatric comorbidities where the impact of successful antiviral therapy might be limited.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of sustained virologic response (SVR) on all-cause and liver-related mortality in a cohort of HCV patients treated in an integrated hepatitis/mental health clinic.


This was a retrospective review of all patients who initiated antiviral treatment for chronic HCV between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2009. Cox regression analysis was used to determine factors involved in all-cause mortality, liver-related events and hepatocellular carcinoma.


A total of 536 patients were included in the analysis. Median follow-up was 7.5 years. Liver and non-liver-related mortality occurred in 2.7 and 5.0 % of patients with SVR and in 17.8 and 6.4 % of patients without SVR. In a multivariate analysis, SVR was the only factor associated with reduced all-cause mortality (HR 0.47; 95 % CI 0.26–0.85; p = 0.012) and reduced liver-related events (HR 0.23; 95 % CI 0.08–0.66, p = 0.007). Having stage 4 liver fibrosis increased all-cause mortality (HR 2.50; 95 % CI 1.23–5.08; p = 0.011). Thrombocytopenia at baseline (HR 2.66; 95 % CI 1.22–5.79; p = 0.014) and stage 4 liver fibrosis (HR 4.87; 95 % CI 1.62–14.53; p = 0.005) increased liver-related events.


Despite significant medical and psychiatric comorbidities, SVR markedly reduced liver-related outcomes without a significant change in non-liver-related mortality after a median follow-up of 7.5 years.

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The study was supported by the Veterans Affairs Research Service. This work was completed independent of funding.

Conflict of interest

Eric Dieperink, Christine Pocha, Paul Thuras, Astrid Knott and Samuel Colton had no conflicts of interest; Samuel B. Ho received research support and consulting from Vital Therapies, Inc., Aspire Bariatrics, Inc., Genentech, Inc., and Roche, Inc.

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Correspondence to Eric Dieperink.

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Dieperink, E., Pocha, C., Thuras, P. et al. All-Cause Mortality and Liver-Related Outcomes Following Successful Antiviral Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C. Dig Dis Sci 59, 872–880 (2014).

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  • Hepatitis C
  • Mortality
  • Liver disease
  • Interferon
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Antiviral therapy