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Outcomes of treatment for hepatitis C virus infection by primary care providers.

The New England journal of medicine

Academic Medical Centers, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Antiviral Agents, therapeutic use, Community Health Services, Female, Health Services Accessibility, Hepacivirus, drug effects, genetics, Hepatitis C, Chronic, drug therapy, therapy, virology, Humans, Interferon-alpha, Male, Medically Underserved Area, Middle Aged, New Mexico, Physicians, Primary Care, Polyethylene Glycols, Prospective Studies, Recombinant Proteins, Rural Health Services, Telemedicine, Treatment Outcome, Videoconferencing

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      Abstract

      The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model was developed to improve access to care for underserved populations with complex health problems such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. With the use of video-conferencing technology, the ECHO program trains primary care providers to treat complex diseases. We conducted a prospective cohort study comparing treatment for HCV infection at the University of New Mexico (UNM) HCV clinic with treatment by primary care clinicians at 21 ECHO sites in rural areas and prisons in New Mexico. A total of 407 patients with chronic HCV infection who had received no previous treatment for the infection were enrolled. The primary end point was a sustained virologic response. A total of 57.5% of the patients treated at the UNM HCV clinic (84 of 146 patients) and 58.2% of those treated at ECHO sites (152 of 261 patients) had a sustained viral response (difference in rates between sites, 0.7 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -9.2 to 10.7; P=0.89). Among patients with HCV genotype 1 infection, the rate of sustained viral response was 45.8% (38 of 83 patients) at the UNM HCV clinic and 49.7% (73 of 147 patients) at ECHO sites (P=0.57). Serious adverse events occurred in 13.7% of the patients at the UNM HCV clinic and in 6.9% of the patients at ECHO sites. The results of this study show that the ECHO model is an effective way to treat HCV infection in underserved communities. Implementation of this model would allow other states and nations to treat a greater number of patients infected with HCV than they are currently able to treat. (Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and others.).

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      Most cited references 22

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      Peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

      Treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a alone produces significantly higher sustained virologic responses than treatment with interferon alfa-2a alone in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We compared the efficacy and safety of peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin, interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin, and peginterferon alfa-2a alone in the initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C. A total of 1121 patients were randomly assigned to treatment and received at least one dose of study medication, consisting of 180 microg of peginterferon alfa-2a once weekly plus daily ribavirin (1000 or 1200 mg, depending on body weight), weekly peginterferon alfa-2a plus daily placebo, or 3 million units of interferon alfa-2b thrice weekly plus daily ribavirin for 48 weeks. A significantly higher proportion of patients who received peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin had a sustained virologic response (defined as the absence of detectable HCV RNA 24 weeks after cessation of therapy) than of patients who received interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin (56 percent vs. 44 percent, P<0.001) or peginterferon alfa-2a alone (56 percent vs. 29 percent, P<0.001). The proportions of patients with HCV genotype 1 who had sustained virologic responses were 46 percent, 36 percent, and 21 percent, respectively, for the three regimens. Among patients with HCV genotype 1 and high base-line levels of HCV RNA, the proportions of those with sustained virologic responses were 41 percent, 33 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. The overall safety profiles of the three treatment regimens were similar; the incidence of influenza-like symptoms and depression was lower in the groups receiving peginterferon alfa-2a than in the group receiving interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin. In patients with chronic hepatitis C, once-weekly peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin was tolerated as well as interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin and produced significant improvements in the rate of sustained virologic response, as compared with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin or peginterferon alfa-2a alone. Copyright 2002 Massachusetts Medical Society
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        Hepatocellular carcinoma incidence, mortality, and survival trends in the United States from 1975 to 2005.

        Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Incidence rates are increasing in the United States. Monitoring incidence, survival, and mortality rates within at-risk populations can facilitate control efforts. Age-adjusted incidence trends for HCC were examined in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries from 1975 to 2005. Age-specific rates were examined for birth cohorts born between 1900 and 1959. Age-adjusted incidence and cause-specific survival rates from 1992 to 2005 were examined in the SEER 13 registries by race/ethnicity, stage, and treatment. United States liver cancer mortality rates were also examined. Age-adjusted HCC incidence rates tripled between 1975 and 2005. Incidence rates increased in each 10-year birth cohort from 1900 through the 1950s. Asians/Pacific Islanders had higher incidence and mortality rates than other racial/ethnic groups, but experienced a significant decrease in mortality rates over time. From 2000 to 2005, marked increases in incidence rates occurred among Hispanic, black, and white middle-aged men. Between 1992 and 2004, 2- to 4-year HCC survival rates doubled, as more patients were diagnosed with localized and regional HCC and prognosis improved, particularly for patients with reported treatment. Recent 1-year survival rates remained, however, less than 50%. HCC incidence and mortality rates continue to increase, particularly among middle-aged black, Hispanic, and white men. Screening of at-risk groups and treatment of localized-stage tumors may contribute to increasing HCC survival rates in the United States. More progress is needed.
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          Peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin compared with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin for initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C: a randomised trial

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            3820419
            21631316
            10.1056/NEJMoa1009370

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