Influential Factors of Successful Hepatitis C Treatment in Elderly Patients

  • Jennifer Andres, PharmD, BCPS Temple University School of Pharmacy
  • Mandee Noval, PharmD Temple University School of Pharmacy
  • Christine Mauriello, PharmD Temple University School of Pharmacy
  • Derek Peiffer, PharmD Temple University School of Pharmacy
  • Huaqing Zhao, PhD Temple University School of Pharmacy
Keywords: Hepatitis C, Elderly, Polypharmacy, Drug Interactions, Adverse Events


Background: Chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an infection associated with an increased risk of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and morbidity and mortality. Treating HCV poses challenges in the elderly population due to the lack of evidence and complexity of patients.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate factors that influence HCV treatment success in elderly patients, especially those over age of 70, such as pill burden and comorbidities, in addition to drug interactions and adverse effects.

Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of patients treated at our urban academic institution from 2014-2016.

Results: Sixty-two patients over the age of 70 were included in this study. The sustained virologic response rate 12 weeks after the completion of treatment (SVR12) was 79%. In a multi-variate analysis, cirrhosis, age closer to 70, and longer duration of treatment were statistically significantly more likely to lead to treatment failure. Though not statistically significant, other factors that may negatively influence achievement of SVR12 were cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, multi-tablet HCV regimen, time to initiation of HCV treatment > 90 days, and prior treatment experience. Pill burden of other prescribed medications did not impact SVR12. Adverse events and drug interactions were common in the population.

Conclusions: Overall SVR12 rate in the elderly population was lower than that reported in the literature. Factors associated with lower treatment success, especially cirrhosis, should be considered when treating an elderly population. Further data is needed on the impact of other factors on SVR12 attainment in an elderly patient population.


Article Type: Original Research


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Received 2019-07-31
Accepted 2019-08-23
Published 2019-09-19
Practice-Based Research