Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hepatitis C treatments not being used for more than half of patients

Date:
October 31, 2013
Source:
Henry Ford Health System
Summary:
More than half of chronic hepatitis C patients studied in a new research project were not treated for the potentially fatal disease, either because they couldn’t withstand current therapies or because they, or their doctors, were waiting for new treatments.

More than half of chronic hepatitis C patients studied in a new research project led by Henry Ford Hospital were not treated for the potentially fatal disease, either because they couldn't withstand current therapies or because they, or their doctors, were waiting for new treatments.

Related Articles


In a second, related study, Henry Ford researchers found that while the disease is not yet curable, there is a significant "lost opportunity" for hepatitis C patients to achieve the current best result of treatment.

Both studies are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases being held in Washington, DC, Nov. 1-5.

Stuart C. Gordon, M.D., director of the Hepatology section at Henry Ford, and lead author of the first study, said it was launched because of a lack of information about the subject.

"Limited data exist concerning the clinical disposition of U.S. patients with chronic hepatitis C infection, including the reasons for lack of antiviral treatment," Dr. Gordon says. "Our goal was to add to that data."

The team collected electronic health records from four large American health systems of patients with confirmed chronic hepatitis C, a viral infection that progressively scars the liver and eventually destroys the organ and its vital functions. Of these 4,271 patients diagnosed with the infection and still alive through the end of 2011, the median age was 57; 57 percent were male; 29 percent were black and 97 percent were insured.

Included in the study data were the patients' histories of antiviral treatments. The researchers found:

• 543, or 12.7 percent, had previously achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR), meaning the hepatitis C virus was suppressed to the point that it could no longer be detected in their blood for six months after anti-viral treatment.

• 110, or 2.6 percent, were currently on anti-viral therapy.

• Of the remaining 3,618 patients, 12 percent had never been followed up within the health care system, despite clinical confirmation that they had chronic hepatitis C.

• The majority, 55 percent, were not being treated, either because of "absolute contraindications" to current therapy -- meaning the risk of available treatment is too high -- or because either the patient or physician were waiting for newer therapies.

• Another 12 percent of patients had chosen not to start treatment, despite a doctor's recommendation to do so.

"These results confirm that only a small proportion of chronic hepatitis C patients in American health care systems who were still being followed at the end of 2011 had achieved an SVR with available antiviral regimens," Dr. Gordon said.

The second study sought to identify "lost opportunities" to treat hepatitis C patients and achieve SVR, now the closest thing to a "cure" for the disease.

"We looked at data regarding testing for chronic Hep C, patient referral, patient visits and the start of treatment," explains Kimberly Ann Brown, M.D., division head of Gastroenterology at Henry Ford Hospital and lead author of the study's findings.

"In addition," Dr. Brown says, "we considered patient age, race, gender, income, marital status, psychiatric diagnoses and the number of comorbidities, or co-existing diseases."

The findings showed that of the 458 patients identified with a positive hepatitis C antibody, only 117 received confirmatory testing, were referred to a specialist and presented to the office for a visit. Of the 117 patients who came for the specialty visit, only 21, or 17.9 percent, were felt to be appropriate treatment candidates.

"This data speaks to the significant 'lost opportunity' we have, not only in identifying patients with hepatitis C in our community, but also in providing them with appropriate treatment options," says Dr. Brown.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Henry Ford Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Henry Ford Health System. "Hepatitis C treatments not being used for more than half of patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031124618.htm>.
Henry Ford Health System. (2013, October 31). Hepatitis C treatments not being used for more than half of patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031124618.htm
Henry Ford Health System. "Hepatitis C treatments not being used for more than half of patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031124618.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins