Fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, progresses as people with genotype 3 of hepatitis C virus (HCV) get older, adding urgency to the need for treatment, Healio reports. Researchers analyzed data from a single-center database of 477 people with hep C who underwent liver biopsies between 1998 and 2015.

The cohort included 112 people with genotype 1, 16 people with genotype 2, 337 people with genotype 3 and 12 people with genotype 4. The proportions of those who achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure), broken down by genotype, were a respective 48 percent, 75 percent, 68 percent and 42 percent.

Cure rates were lower in those with more advanced fibrosis.

Based on their analysis comparing fibrosis with age among those with genotype 3, the researchers concluded that the “point of prevalence of fibrosis in [genotype 3 of] HCV at the time of liver biopsy…[c]onfirms that fibrosis progresses with age, but not in an exponential way and also recognizes the well-described fall in SVR with increasing fibrosis.”

They further wrote: “Our SVR data strongly suggests that we should provide all of our [genotype 3 of] HCV patients with the new potent [direct-acting antivirals] to prevent progression of disease and subsequent consequences.”