Inproceedings: An article in a conference proceedings.
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Age above 60 years is not a negative predictive factor for combined antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon alpha and ribavirin in hepatitis C patients
Title of the conference
62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
San Francisco, California, November 4-8, 2011
Publication type : Meeting Abstract
Background: Age is frequently discussed as negative host factor to achieve a sustained virological response (SVR) to antiviral hepatitis C therapy. However, elderly patients often show relevant fibrosis or cirrhosis which is a known negative predictive factor, making it difficult to interpret age as an independent predictive factor. Methods: From the framework of the Swiss hepatitis C cohort (SCCS), we collected data from 545 antiviral hepatitis C therapies, including data from 67 hepatitis C patients ≥ 60 y who had been treated with PEG-interferon and ribavirin. We analyzed host factors (age, gender, fibrosis, haemoglobin, depression, earlier hepatitis C treatment), viral factors (genotype, viral load) and treatment course (early virological response, end of treatment response, SVR). Generalised estimating equations (GEE) regression modelling was used for the primary end point (SVR), with age ≥ 60 y and < 60 y as independent variable and gender, presence of cirrhosis, genotype, earlier treatment and viral load as confounders. SVR was analysed in young and elderly patients after matching for these confounders. Additionally, classification tree analysis was done in elderly patients using these confounders. Results: SVR analyzed in 545 patients was 55%. In genotype 1/4, SVR was 42.9% in 259 patients < 60 y and 26.1% in 46 patients ≥ 60 y. In genotype 2/3, SVR was 74.4% in 215 patients < 60 y and 84% in 25 patients ≥ 60 y. However, GEE model showed that age had no influence on achieving SVR (Odds ratio 0.91). Confounders influenced SVR as known from previous studies (cirrhosis, genotype 1/4, previous treatment and viral load >600'000 IE/ml as negative predictive factors). When young and elderly patients were matched (analysis in 59 elderly patients), SVR was not different in these patient groups (54.2% and 55.9%, resp.; p=0.795 in binomial test). The classification tree-derived best criterion for SVR in elderly patients was genotype, with no further criteria relevant for predicting SVR in genotype 2/3. In patients with genotype 1/4, further criteria were presence of cirrhosis and low viral load <600'000 IE/ml in non-cirrhotic patients. Conclusions: Age is not a relevant predictive factor for achieving SVR, when confounders were taken into account. In terms of effectiveness of antiviral therapy, age does not play a major role and should not be regarded as relevant negative predictive factor. Since life expectancy in Switzerland at age 60 is more than 22 y, hepatitis C therapy is reasonable in elderly patients with known relevant fibrosis or cirrhosis, because interferon-based hepatitis C therapy improves survival and reduces carcinogenesis.
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