February 2015

The Ongoing Debate of Who to Treat for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus

Author Affiliations
  • 1Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(2):169-170. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4299

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection accounts for approximately 30% of cases of cirrhosis and one-quarter of hepatocellular carcinomas worldwide and is the leading indication for liver transplant in the adult US population.1 Although the incidence of chronic HCV infection is declining in the United States, the number of deaths is projected to rise over the next decade because of complications among persons infected 30 to 40 years ago.2 Hence, the major reasons for treating chronic HCV infection are to mitigate the morbidity and mortality associated with the infection, alleviate patient symptoms, and prevent person-to-person transmission. Successful eradication or virological cure is possible, and a reduction in liver-related outcomes has been demonstrated in patients with advanced liver disease who achieve this desirable end point.3

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