Hepatitis C in the UK 2014 report
In the UK, this report shows that around 214,000 individuals have long-term (chronic) infection with hepatitis C, and not surprisingly hepatitis C-related end-stage liver disease is continuing to rise.29 Jul 2014
We know that hepatitis C is a global health problem, with an estimated 150 million people chronically infected worldwide. A significant number will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer as a result, and the World Health Organization estimates that more than 350,000 people will die each year from hepatitis C-related liver diseases.
In the UK, this report shows that around 214,000 individuals have long-term (chronic) infection with hepatitis C, and not surprisingly hepatitis C-related end-stage liver disease is continuing to rise. Progress has been made in some areas, with innovative community based services, developments in drug treatment services and testing taking place in the criminal justice system. Nevertheless, this report clearly shows the scale of the challenge ahead – transmission among risk groups continues and significant numbers remain undiagnosed and untreated.
Tackling hepatitis C is entirely consistent with the strong national focus on improving and protecting health, and on improving the health of the poorest fastest. In this way, healthy life expectancy can be increased and differences in life expectancy between communities can be reduced. In the UK, hepatitis C predominantly affects marginalised groups of society, including those who inject drugs, and minority ethnic populations.
Antiviral medicines are already available that can cure hepatitis C infection, but awareness among those at risk, alongside access to diagnosis and treatment, is low. This report demonstrates that both increased uptake and new therapies are needed to avert rising hepatitis C-related end stage liver disease in England. With many new and improved treatments on the horizon, it is increasingly important to raise awareness of the infection so that more individuals can be diagnosed and treated.Share this on: