Infectious Disease

Concomitant treatment with HCV and opioid agonists improves the quality of life of drug users

August 19, 2021

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Litwin reports that he served on the advisory boards of Merck Pharmaceuticals, AbbVie and Gilead Sciences and received research grants from Merck and Gilead. Please refer to the study for all relevant financial information from the other authors.

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According to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, people who inject drugs experienced sustained improvements in health-related quality of life when successfully treated for hepatitis C while on opioid agonist treatment.

Assessing the impact of HCV treatment on the health-related quality of life of people who inject drugs (PWID), “is necessary to understand the link between curing HCV and improving patient-centered health outcomes for a population whose stigma often barriers to access to a treatment represents to understand better ”. called Alain Litwin, MD, Professor at Clemson University and Executive Director of the Prisma Health Addiction Research Center.

Source: Adobe Stock.

Individuals who successfully injected themselves with drugs for hepatitis C during opioid agonist treatment had sustained improvements in health-related quality of life after SVR. Source: Adobe Stock.

“There is little research to date that examines the relationship between HCV treatment with direct-acting antivirals and health-related quality of life in PWID,” Litwin told Healio.

Litwin and colleagues studied 141 PWID who achieved SVR after HCV treatment at three opioid agonist treatment clinics (OAT) in Bronx, New York. According to the study, they rated the five health dimensions of mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain / discomfort and anxiety / depression and gave a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) index of 0 to 1, which is the EQ-5D. is referred to as -3L. These were measurements at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks during treatment, and 12 and 24 weeks after treatment.

Overall, the study showed a mean baseline EQ-5D-3L of 0.66. At this point in time, more than half of the study population reported no problems with self-sufficiency (85.1%), usual activities (56%), or mobility (52.5%), and at least two-thirds reported problems with pain / discomfort ( 78%) and anxiety / depression (66%), with 22% and 21.3% reporting extreme problems related to pain / discomfort and anxiety / depression, respectively, reported Litwin and a colleague.

24 weeks after treatment, the study showed that the proportion of participants reporting pain / discomfort and anxiety / depression decreased by 25.7% and 24%, respectively. According to the researchers, this means the mean EQ-5D-3L improved significantly during treatment and was held at 0.77 12 weeks after the SVR after completing treatment.

MeIat Ann Gormley, PhD, MSPH, a postdoctoral fellow at Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences said that although the increases continued after HCV treatment, the total HRQOL was still lower than the HRQOL of the general US population.

“Our results show that successful HCV treatment can improve the health-related quality of life for PWID during OAT, which should fuel future efforts to treat HCV during OAT,” Gormley and Litwin told Healio. “In addition, these results show that although health-related quality of life has increased after successful HCV treatment, additional measures may be required to improve the health-related quality of life in this population group.”

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