There are numerous health benefits—as well as a reduced risk of death—associated with curing hepatitis C virus (HCV) among those with the milder form of cirrhosis known as compensated cirrhosis.
Researchers studied data spanning 2006 to 2012 on 1,323 French people with hepatitis C and compensated cirrhosis. None had experienced liver-related complications before entering the study. All were treated for hepatitis C before joining the cohort or during the study.
After a median follow-up of five years, half of the cohort was cured.
Compared with not being cured, a cure was associated with a 56 to 74 percent reduced risk of decompensated cirrhosis (the more severe form of cirrhosis), cardiovascular-related health events and bacterial infections, and a 73 percent reduced risk of death from any cause, including liver-related and non-liver-related causes of death.
The study’s lead author, Pierre Nahon, MD, PhD, an associate professor of hepatology at the Hôpital Jean Verdier in Bondy, France, says the study’s “validation of benefits related to [curing hep C] in cirrhotic patients is a milestone in HCV therapy.” He called for further long-term studies to help refine guidelines about how best to monitor HCV-positive people for potential negative health outcomes.