There are numerous health benefits—as well as a reduced risk of death—associated with curing hepatitis C virus (HCV) among those with compensated cirrhosis. These benefits include a reduction in risk in both liver- and non-liver-related health outcomes and causes of death.

Publishing their findings in the journal Gastroenterology, researchers studied data on 1,323 people with hep C and compensated cirrhosis in the prospective ANRS viral cirrhosis cohort, known as CirVir. The cohort members were recruited form 35 clinical centers in France between 2006 and 2012. None had prior liver-related complications.

Everyone in the cohort was treated for hep C before entering the cohort or during follow-up and underwent an ultrasound exam every six months as well as endoscopic evaluations.

After a median follow-up of 58.2 months, 668 members (50.5 percent) of the cohort achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure).

Compared with not being cured, achieving an SVR12 was associated with: a 71 percent reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, the most common form of liver cancer); a 74 percent reduced risk of developing decompensated cirrhosis, a 58 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular-related health events, a 56 percent reduced risk of bacterial infections and a 73 percent reduced risk of death from any cause. This reduction in the risk of death included the risk of liver-related and non-liver-related causes of death.

To read the study abstract, click here.