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Hepatitis C

One systematic review [1] aimed to understand the relationship between HCV infection and subsequent extrahepatic conditions and the impact of these conditions on the quality of life in those people living with HCV. Of 194 extrahepatic conditions identified in the literature, depression, anxiety and pain were among those most often identified by advocacy groups as impacting on quality of life. The findings from this review suggest that this apparent set of links between HCV, depression, anxiety and quality of life merits further research and consideration by professionals working with people infected with HCV, as well as with patients in whom HCV may be a potential diagnosis. For example, counsellors might use these findings to recognise the potential need for increased support to cope with these extrahepatic conditions and tailor advice and referrals accordingly.

A second systematic review [2] aimed to evaluate the effect of HAART (Highly active antiretroviral therapy) and ARV monotherapy on liver disease progression and liver-related mortality in individuals co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C, including in patients with haemophilia. The use of HAART was associated with significantly reduced liver-related mortality in patients co-infected with HIV and HCV. Evidence of an association between HAART and/or ARV monotherapy use and reduced liver-disease progression was less clear, but there was no evidence to suggest that the absence of antiretroviral therapy was preferable. Further research is required on the differential effects of HAART regimens, and on the mechanisms by which HAART reduces liver-disease mortality.

1. Depression, anxiety, pain and quality of life in people living with chronic hepatitis C: a systematic review and meta-analysis (2015)

2. Impact of antiretroviral therapy on liver disease progression and mortality in patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C: Systematic review and meta-analysis (2015)

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