FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For patients with chronic hepatitis C infection, sustained viral response (SVR) rates are similar for those aged 65 years and older and those younger than 65, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Calvin Q. Pan, M.D., from the Capital Medical University Affiliated Beijing Ditan Hospital, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to compare SVRs for patients aged 65 years and older (516 patients) and those aged younger than 65 years (635 patients) receiving direct-acting antivirals. Predictors of treatment response were examined in older patients.

The researchers found that in the entire cohort, overall treatment response was 97.7 percent. In the older group, a significantly higher percentage of patients presented with advanced stages of fibrosis (53.1 versus 39.5 percent; P < 0.001). In the two groups, the SVR rates were similar (98.3 versus 97.7 percent; P = 0.18). After adjustment for confounders, age was not predictive of SVR. Among those aged 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and older than 85 years, treatment response rates were similar (97.4, 97.2, and 86.7 percent, respectively; P = 0.06), as were the rates of advanced fibrosis (50.8, 61.5, and 53.3 percent; P = 0.14).

“Treatment should not be withheld purely on the grounds of advanced age, and older age should not be a barrier to hepatitis C virus treatment,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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