1 University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
2 University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
3 California State University, Bakersfield, CA, USA.
4 Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA.
5 The Altshuler Center for Education & Research at Metrocare Services, Dallas, TX, USA.
6 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
The purpose of this study was to compare quality of life, functioning, and coping among hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients who continued versus ceased alcohol use in the past year. HCV patients ( n = 291) were recruited from three liver and infectious disease clinics. Student's t test was used to compare HCV patients who were former and active users of alcohol. The majority of HCV patients were male, African American, and without a high school degree. Compared to former users of alcohol, active users of alcohol self-reported lower ratings on home life, personal leisure, and overall quality of life. In the area of functioning, active users of alcohol self-reported lower ratings on home life, close relationships, sex life, and overall functioning. The two groups did not differ on coping. Most HCV clinicians advise HCV patients to avoid alcohol completely because of its adverse biological effects on the liver. Despite this important advice by their HCV clinicians, most HCV patients continue to use alcohol. HCV clinicians can additionally consider advising these patients that continued alcohol use is associated with lower quality of life and functioning as further evidence to convince these patients to avoid alcohol or to participate in alcohol cessation treatment.