Role of Non-hepatic Medical Comorbidity and Functional Limitations in Predicting Mortality in Patients with HCV.

Digestive diseases and sciences

Natarajan Y, White DL, El-Serag HB, Ramsey D, Richardson P, Kuzniarek J, Shukla R, Tansel A, Kanwal F

2017 Dig. Dis. Sci. Volume 62 Issue 1

PubMed 27655101 DOI 10.1007/s10620-016-4303-2

FibroTest Prognosis Independant Team HCV Cirrhosis


Medical comorbidities and functional status limitations are determinants of mortality in many chronic diseases. The extent to which survival in the rapidly aging cohort of patients with HCV is affected by these competing causes of mortality remains unclear.


We sought to determine the effect of medical/functional comorbidities on survival after adjusting for liver disease severity in a cohort of patients with HCV infection.


We prospectively recruited consecutive patients from an HCV clinic 2009-2014. We calculated an index of survival (Schonberg Index, SI) based on age, gender, medical comorbidities, and functional status variables. We defined cirrhosis with the FibroSure test (F3/4-F4). We used multivariable Cox modeling to assess association between functional/survival measure and survival after adjustment for severity of liver disease.


The cohort consisted of 1052 HCV patients. The average age was 56.8 years; 36 % had cirrhosis. The mean SI was 8.2 (SD = 2.7). During a mean follow-up of 5610 person-years, 102 (9.7 %) patients died. In unadjusted analysis, higher baseline SI predicted mortality (HR 1.17; 95 % CI 1.09-1.25). SI similarly predicted mortality in cirrhotic patients (HR 1.23, 95 % CI 1.13-1.34) and non-cirrhotic patients (HR 1.21, 95 % CI 1.08-1.36). This did not change after adjusting for age, drug use, or coronary artery disease.


Comorbidities and functional limitations predict higher mortality in patients with HCV; this relationship is independent of cirrhosis. Use of general prognostic indices may help identify HCV patients at high risk for mortality, which could further guide clinical care in a manner not achievable with assessment of liver disease alone.

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