Association of Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy With Liver and Nonliver Complications and Long-term Mortality in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C

Eiichi Ogawa, Nicholas Chien, Leslie Kam, Yee Hui Yeo, Fanpu Ji, Daniel Q. Huang, Ramsey Cheung, Mindie H. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Importance: Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and its complications are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. However, large-scale data analysis of the long-term liver and nonliver effects of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment has been limited. Objective: To assess the association of hepatitis C virus elimination through DAA treatment with the risk of liver and nonliver morbidity and mortality during long-term follow-up among a large nationwide cohort of insured patients with CHC in the US. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a retrospective cohort study of 245596 adult patients with CHC using data from the Optum Clinformatics Data Mart database, 2010 to 2021. Of the total cohort, 40654 patients had received 1 or more prescriptions for DAA medication (without interferon), and 204942 patients were untreated. Exposure: Treatment with a DAA. Main Outcomes and Measures: Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver decompensation, relevant nonliver events (nonliver cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease), and overall mortality. Results: The DAA-treated cohort (vs untreated) were older (mean [SD] age, 59.9 [10.8] vs 58.5 [13.0] years; P <.001); more likely to be male (25 060 [62%] vs 119 727 [58%] men; P <.001) and White (23 937 [59%] vs 115 973 [57%]; P <.001) individuals; and more likely to have diabetes (10 680 [26%] vs 52091 [25%]; P <.001) or cirrhosis (17 971 [44%] vs 60 094 [29%]; P <.001). Comparing DAA-treated with untreated patients, the incidence (per 1000 person-years) of liver outcomes (eg, decompensation, 28.2 [95% CI, 27.0-29.4] vs 40.8 [95% CI, 40.1-41.5]; P <.001, and HCC in compensated cirrhosis, 20.1 [95% CI, 18.4-21.9] vs 41.8 [95% CI, 40.3-43.3]; P <.001) and nonliver outcomes (eg, diabetes, 30.2 [95% CI, 35.4-37.7] vs 37.2 [95% CI, 36.6-37.9]; P <.001; and chronic kidney disease, 31.1 [95% CI, 29.9-32.2] vs 34.1 [95% CI, 33.5-34.7]; P <.001) were significantly lower in treated patients. The all-cause mortality rates per 1000 person-years were also significantly lower in DAA-treated compared with untreated patients (mortality, 36.5 [95% CI, 35.4-37.7] vs 64.7 [95% CI, 63.9-65.4]; P <.001). In multivariable regression analysis, DAA treatment was independently associated with a significant decrease in the risk of liver (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] for HCC, 0.73; decompensation, 0.36), nonliver (aHR for diabetes, 0.74; chronic kidney disease, 0.81; cardiovascular disease, 0.90; nonliver cancer, 0.89), and mortality outcomes (aHR, 0.43). Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this retrospective cohort study indicate that DAA treatment for insured patients with CHC was associated with improved liver- and nonliver outcomes, and ultimately, with long-term overall survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 6 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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