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Height, weight and BMI changes seen in children treated with peginterferon alpha for hepatitis C
Date:8/9/2012

on therapy, researchers observed up to a 0.5 unit decrease in height, weight, and BMI z scores (standard deviation scores) in some participants on therapy. In the 48-week treatment group, 33% of children had a greater than 0.5 unit decrement in their height-for-age z score.

Results show that mean height-for-age z scores were slower to rebound than those for weight and BMI. The authors report that after two years following the end of treatment, mean height z scores were lower than baseline in most children who had been treated with peginterferon for 48 or 72 weeks. Physical activity and food intake among the children did not change during the study period.

"Our findings demonstrate significant effects on weight, BMI, and body composition in children treated with pegIFNα that are reversible upon cessation of treatment. A reduction in linear growth persisted even after treatment was discontinued," said Dr. Jonas. "Additional investigation of growth patterns is needed to determine long-term outcomes so that optimal timing of treatment can be determined for children with chronic HCV."


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