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AbstractBackground and AimsThe path to hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination is complicated by individuals who become lost to follow‐up (LTFU) during care, particularly before receiving effective HCV treatment. We aimed to determine factors contributing to LTFU and whether LTFU is associated with mortality.MethodsIn this secondary analysis, we constructed a database including individuals with HCV who were either LTFU (data from the nationwide HCV retrieval project, CELINE) or treated with directly acting antivirals (DAA) (data from Statistics Netherlands) between 2012 and 2019. This database was linked to mortality data from Statistics Netherlands. Determinants associated with being LTFU versus DAA‐treated were assessed using logistic regression, and mortality rates were compared between groups using exponential survival models. These analyses were additionally stratified on calendar periods: 2012–2014, 2015–2017 and 2018–2019.ResultsAbout 254 individuals, LTFU and 5547 DAA‐treated were included. Being institutionalized (OR = 5.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.29–7.65), household income below the social minimum (OR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.25–3.06), receiving benefits (OR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.20–2.52) and psychiatric comorbidity (OR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.09–2.10) were associated with LTFU. Mortality rates were significantly higher in individuals LTFU compared to those DAA‐treated (2.99 vs. 1.15/100 person‐years (PY), p < .0001), while in those DAA‐treated, mortality rates slowly increased between 2012–2014 (.22/100PY) and 2018–2019 (2.25/100PY).ConclusionIn the Netherlands, individuals who are incarcerated/institutionalized, with low household income, or with psychiatric comorbidities are prone to being LTFU, which is associated with higher mortality. HCV care needs to be adapted for these vulnerable individuals.

Original publication




Journal article


Liver International



Publication Date





52 - 60