Health-related quality of life in people receiving opioid agonist treatment and treatment for hepatitis C virus infection

on behalf of the CO-STAR Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In people with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, viral eradication is associated with improved health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Objective: To assess changes in HRQOL among participants receiving opioid agonist therapy undergoing treatment for HCV infection Methods: COSTAR (NCT02251990) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Adults with HCV infection on opioid agonist therapy received elbasvir (50 mg)/grazoprevir (100 mg) or placebo for 12 weeks. HRQOL was evaluated using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey version 2 (SF-36v2) Acute Form. Participants remained blinded until 4 weeks after end of treatment. Results: Overall, 201 participants received elbasvir/grazoprevir and 100 participants received placebo. Treatment difference mean change from baseline scores (elbasvir/grazoprevir minus placebo) indicated an improvement in HRQOL at 4 weeks after end of treatment in participants receiving elbasvir/grazoprevir versus those receiving placebo, driven by declining HRQOL in those receiving placebo and improved HRQOL in certain domains among participants receiving elbasvir/grazoprevir. Notable differences in SF-36v2 scores were evident in the general health (mean treatment difference [MTD], 6.00; 95% CI, 1.37–10.63), vitality (MTD, 6.81; 95% CI, 1.88–11.75), and mental health (MTD, 5.17; 95% CI, 0.52–9.82) domains and in the mental component summary score (mean, 2.83; 95% CI, 0.29–5.37). No notable between-treatment differences were evident at treatment weeks 4 or 12. Conclusion: HRQOL in patients receiving medication for opioid dependence was improved following treatment for HCV infection with elbasvir/grazoprevir, suggesting that eradication of HCV infection with direct-acting antivirals is associated with improved HRQOL. Trial registration number:, NCT02251990.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-224
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Edward Gane
Joseph Leo Yozviak
Sheng-Shun Yang
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Gilead Sciences
Merck Sharp and Dohme


    • Hepatitis C virus
    • opioid agonist therapy
    • quality of life
    • treatment


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