MONDAY, Feb. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, those who have sustained virological response (SVR) to direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy have reductions in measures of health care utilization compared with those who do not receive DAA therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Stuart C. Gordon, M.D., from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, and colleagues compared rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations between HCV patients who achieved SVR after DAA therapy and matched controls who did not receive DAA treatment. A total of 3,049 pairs of patients were included in the analyses.

The researchers observed no significant difference between cases and controls in the rate of all-cause emergency department visits. However, liver-related emergency department visits were significantly lower for cases versus controls. Overall rates of all-cause and liver-related hospital admissions were lower among cases than controls. Among most subgroups of DAA-SVR patients, all-cause hospitalizations were lower than among controls with the exception of patients aged 70 years or older and Black patients.

“The findings of our study show that curing hepatitis C not only gets rid of the virus, it also improves the overall health of patients,” Gordon said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, some of which provided funding for the study.

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