Long-term follow-up and suboptimal treatment rates of treatment-eligible chronic hepatitis B patients in diverse practice settings: a gap in linkage to care. BMJ open gastroenterology Vu, V. D., Do, A., Nguyen, N. H., Kim, L. H., Trinh, H. N., Nguyen, H. A., Nguyen, K. K., Nguyen, M., Huynh, A., Nguyen, M. H. 2015; 2 (1)


Despite available effective therapies, only a minority of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) receive treatment. Our goal is to study treatment rates and time to treatment initiation in patients who meet treatment criteria on long-term follow-up.We performed a retrospective cohort study of 608 consecutive treatment-eligible patients with CHB (by 2008 US Panel or 2009 American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) criteria) at a US community gastroenterology clinic and a university liver clinic between 2007 and 2011. Patients were observed until they started treatment or last follow-up if untreated.Mean age was 44 and most were Asian (96%) with community patients being younger and having lower alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. A total of 62% started treatment, and 38% remained untreated after median follow-up of 17 months (IQR=1-40 months). Overall, treatment rate was significantly higher at university liver clinic than in the community (66.7% vs 59.9%, p=0.01). In multivariate analysis, older age (HR 1.02, p=0.002), male gender (HR 1.37, p=0.02), and baseline ALT >45 U/L for males and >29 U/L for females (HR 2.24, p<0.0001) were significant predictors of treatment initiation, but not practice setting.Approximately 40% of treatment-eligible patients still have not started treatment on longer follow-up. Treatment rates were higher at university clinics, but practice setting was not a predictor for treatment, but older age, male gender, and higher ALT levels were. Further studies are needed to determine the barriers for treatment initiation and to improve treatment rates in treatment-eligible patients.

View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjgast-2015-000060

View details for PubMedID 26543565

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4620589