The Implications of Alcohol Use among Patients with Hepatitis C
Despite the fact that long-term alcohol use is a known cause of liver diseases such as liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, a series of recent studies upon this matter have identified additional aspects regarding the impact of alcohol consumption among patients with hepatitis C. The main purpose of the recently conducted studies was to reveal the way alcohol use interferes in the treatment of hepatitis C. Another aim of the studies was to identify other effects of alcohol abuse on the health of patients diagnosed with liver disease.
The most conclusive study upon the implications of alcohol abuse on hepatitis C treatments and therapies has revealed various interesting facts. The study involved the participation of 4061 subjects diagnosed with hepatitis C and confronted with drinking problems. Among the total number of 4061 study participants, around 700 had just started to receive the treatment of hepatitis C at the date of the study. The participants were asked to respond to several questions structured in questionnaires. The questions covered many different aspects regarding the drinking habits of the respondents: the frequency of alcohol use and the quantities consumed, the existence of any drinking problems in the past or present, the period of time over which the subjects had been confronted with drinking problems, when the subjects had first started to use alcohol, recent / past unpleasant experiences with alcohol consumption, etc.
First of all, the study results have revealed the fact that alcohol use (in the past or over the period of the last 12 months) among patients with hepatitis C greatly reduced the chances of becoming eligible candidates for receiving hepatitis C medical treatments. Persons confronted with drinking problems (alcohol addicts) have always been considered inappropriate candidates for hepatitis C specific therapies and treatments due to the following reasons: frequent alcohol use is known to decrease the efficiency of hepatitis C treatments; persons who have suffered from alcohol dependency in the past may have developed a range of conditions that render them unable to tolerate hepatitis C treatments and therapies.
According to the studyís findings, consumption of alcohol in the past didnít influence the efficacy of the hepatitis C treatments received by the subjects or their treatment interruption rate. However, recent alcohol use was correlated with considerably higher treatment interruption rates. The team of researchers has concluded that the eligibility for hepatitis C therapies and treatments was considerably reduced among both categories of past and recent drinkers. Furthermore, recent use of alcohol was correlated with higher treatment interruption rates. The most surprising finding of the recently performed study consists in the equal response to hepatitis C treatments of both categories of recent drinkers and nondrinkers. This interesting result suggests the fact that the efficacy of hepatitis C treatments is not strongly influenced by alcohol consumption.
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