Journal Article

Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Older Adults

Kevin P. High, Esther-Lee Marcus and Ran Tur-Kaspa

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 41, issue 11, pages 1606-1612
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/497597
Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Older Adults

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Most of the older adults with chronic hepatitis C virus infection acquired the disease earlier in life. These patients often present with complications of liver disease, mainly cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The burden of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in elderly persons is expected to increase significantly in the United States during the next 2 decades. It seems important that, for elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C, the risk-benefit of combination antiviral therapy consisting of pegylated interferon and ribavirin should be assessed on an individual basis. Assessment should be performed in all cases before considering treatment, and it should include evaluation of the degree of liver fibrosis by means of liver biopsy or, possibly, by means of noninvasive methods. Novel antiviral drugs that may have fewer adverse effects, such as protease inhibitors, may serve as potential alternatives. It is recommended that elderly patients (up to the age of 75 years) be included in randomized trials of chronic hepatitis C virus infection treatment.

Journal Article.  5715 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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