Chronic hepatitis C has a profound negative impact on both physical and mental well-being, thus decreasing health-related quality of life (HRQL). The most common complaints include symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and neurocognitive deficits. The burden of chronic HCV infections is multiplied by emotional and psychological issues that affect patients’ functional health and work ability. Treatment of chronic HCV infection may at the beginning cause worse HRQL rates, as a result of common adverse effects like fatigue, muscle aches, and depression. However, the relationship between sustained virologic response (SVR) and improvement in HRQL is well known. Treatment-related adverse effects may discourage patients from starting therapy and reduce their adherence to treatment. Novel agents, with improved adverse effect profiles and SVR rates, allow more patients the opportunity to achieve improvements in HRQL during and after treatment.
Part of the book: Update on Hepatitis C