Background: Interferon (IFN)-based regimens cause significant impairment of health-related quality of life (HRQL). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) cure with IFN-free regimens improves HRQL. The effect of these regimens on HRQL in East Asian HCV patients is unclear due to lack of published evidence. Aim: To assess HRQL in East Asian HCV patients treated with an IFN-free regimen with sofosbuvir+ribavirin. Methods: Patients completed Short Form-36 (SF-36) before, during and after treatment. Results: 686 subjects were included (China: 56.7%; S. Korea: 18.8%; Taiwan: 12.7%; genotype 2: 40.8%; genotype 1: 29.6%; genotype 3: 18.4%; genotype 6: 11.2%; cirrhosis: 13.4%; treatment-naïve: 66.5%). Patients received either pegylated-IFN, sofosbuvir, and ribavirin (IFN+SOF+RBV) for 12 weeks (n = 155, genotypes 1 and 6) or SOF+RBV for 12-24 weeks (n = 531, all genotypes). The SVR-12 rates were 95.5% and 96.0%; respectively (P =.76). Baseline HRQL scores were similar between treatment groups (all P >.05). By the end of treatment, the IFN-treated group experienced significant declines in most HRQL scores (on average, by up to −13.3 points on a 0-100 scale from the baseline level, P <.02) while subjects on SOF/RBV had milder impairments (up to −5.4 points). Achieving SVR-12 was associated with HRQL improvement regardless of regimen (up to +2.9 points, P <.05). The use of IFN-free treatment was a consistent independent predictor of higher HRQL scores during treatment (β: +2.1 to +10.7 points, P <.02). Conclusions: East Asian HCV patients treated with an IFN-free regimen had better on-treatment HRQL scores. These data should inform policymakers about the comprehensive benefits of IFN-free regimens in East Asian patients with HCV.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by Gilead Sciences.
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