Fatigue in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C: The FAT-HEP Study. A Cross Sectional Study of Fatigue and its Relation to Substance Use and OST

Author: Thornhøj R, Riis A, Hansen JF, Hjerrild S, Christensen PB, Øvrehus ALH

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2016

FATIGUE IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEPATITIS C: THE FAT-HEP STUDY. A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY OF FATIGUE AND ITS RELATION TO SUBSTANCE USE AND OST Thornhøj R1, Riis A1, Hansen JF1, Hjerrild S2, Christensen PB1, Øvrehus ALH1 1 Department of infectious diseases, Odense University Hospital, Denmark 2 Department of Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark Background: Fatigue is a commonly described symptom in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection (CHC). The recent guidelines from European Association for Study of the Liver (EASL) suggest debilitating fatigue as a treatment indication. The pathophysiology behind fatigue in CHC patients is still to be determined, as well as consensus on what tools to use in measuring fatigue. It has been questioned whether fatigue is in fact caused by CHC or by other confounding factors such as substance use and opioid substitution therapy (OST) among patients in this population. Methods: During 7 consecutive weeks fatigue was assessed in patients attending an outpatient clinic. A variety of tools were used including; Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness TherapyFatigue (FACIT-F) and a fatigue VAS scale. Results: 38/56 (67.9 %) of participants reported clinically significant fatigue (FSS score ≥ 4). 17/56 had current substance use, 30/56 had previous substance use and 20/56 was on OST. Fatigue was not associated with current or previous substance use or OST in either of the questionnaires (p>0.05). ALAT ≥ 30/19 and Transistent Elastometry (TE) ≥ 12 kPa were significantly associated with FSS score ≥ 4 (p

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