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The Role of Healthy Lifestyle Habits and a Proactive Multidimensional Approach to Treatment in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients

1 August 2004


Context: Chronic hepatitis is a disease affecting millions of Americans. Studies in the past have usually focused on the drug regimen used to treat the disease and have not focused on the patient's level of involvement in, and lifestyle modifications toward, their own treatment. This study attempts to look at aspects involved in hepatitis therapy that has not been adequately studied and in many cases is not directly addressed or stressed by healthcare providers.

Objective: This study attempts to investigate how patient lifestyle factors including taking a proactive approach to their treatment affect treatment efficacy and remission rates in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that patients with more favorable and healthy lifestyles and who undertake a proactive multidimensional approach to their treatment will have better treatment efficacy and remission of disease compared to those who do not.

Design: This study consists of a patient recollection survey sent to patients who have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C. Aspects of patient lifestyle factors and a proactive approach to treatment that the survey attempts to examine include patient demographics, effectiveness of conventional medical therapy, patient compliance, dietary habits and supplementation, physical activity, support systems, sleep habits, alcohol and drug use, and self-education.

Setting: This study was completed in Kona, Hawaii. Subjects: Subjects were randomly selected by ICD9 code for chronic hepatitis C from computerized patient databases from Ron Ah Loy:MD, Robin Seto :MD, and Stephen Denzer:MD.

Results: Trends toward more favorable outcomes were seen in patients who completed at least 1 conventional treatment regimen, those who were female, those who did not exercise, those who drank less than 6 glasses of water daily, those who worked fewer hours per week, those who slept longer hours at night, and those who had lower levels of education.

Conclusion: Conclusions are difficult to draw from this small study with multiple variables. It hints at the possibility of increased physiological stressors to the body being correlated with less favorable outcomes. This study emphasizes the need for larger, more focused studies to be done to see if these correlations are real or merely due to chance.


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