Results of studies about prognosis are usually reported as cumulative incidence rates or survival curves. That is, prognostic studies report the number of events occurring over time. A cumulative incidence rate provides an absolute risk of an outcome over a period of time, whereas survival curves can quantify trends in the risk of an outcome over time. The results of this study indicate that the most common HCV genotypes encountered were type 1b and type 2, and that patients with genotype 1 had a significantly worse prognosis regarding survival and the development of HCC compared with patients with other genotypes. The incidence rates of HCC were 5.9 per person per year for patients with genotype 1a, 4.5 for patients with genotype 1b, and 2.8 in patients with nongenotype 1 HCV. Development of cirrhosis and HCC was significantly greater in the genotype 1b group compared with other genotypes. Treatment with interferon, regardless of total dose or response to therapy, was associated with significantly improved survival and a lower incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in all groups. You conclude that the study results are compelling, and that they offer important prognostic information that may prove useful for the future care of patients in whom the decision whether or not to treat with an interferon-based regimen may be equivocal.
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