The chapter provides an update on the epidemiology of HCV infection both in the general population and in specific risk groups, i.e. recipients of blood transfusions or solid organ transplants before 1992, chronic hemodialysis patients or inpatients exposed to health-care procedures, health care workers, current or former injection drug users, persons with HIV infection. The last ten years of the previous century and the first ten years of the new millennium have dramatically changed the history of hepatology. Sensitive and reliable diagnostic assays have become available for hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses. Studies conducted all over the world have documented the epidemiology and the transmission of hepatitis viruses. More recently, the new therapies for chronic hepatitis have revolutionized the scientific world. The incidence of HBV infection has dramatically changed over the last 25 years; moreover, vaccination available for newborns has been shown to reduce the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma. The incidence of HCV infection has also declined during the last twenty years. However, HCV in western countries is still the most important risk factor for chronic hepatitis and the most important cause of liver transplant. A vaccine against hepatitis C will be available in the near future. The new antiviral drugs limit the disease progression, improve survival and reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. The natural history of HCV infection is generally long and characterized by a slow progression to cirrhosis. The studies of the natural history together with the role of co-factors of liver disease (including alcohol, iron, genetics, and a number of environmental factors) have furnished an important lesson to hepatologists. Future is to cure and control early diseases including hepatitis B and C with the aim to reach a real reduction in morbidity and mortality.

Epidemiology of HCV infection

BALDOVIN, TATJANA;BERTONCELLO, CHIARA;FLOREANI, ANNAROSA;BALDO, VINCENZO
2013

Abstract

The chapter provides an update on the epidemiology of HCV infection both in the general population and in specific risk groups, i.e. recipients of blood transfusions or solid organ transplants before 1992, chronic hemodialysis patients or inpatients exposed to health-care procedures, health care workers, current or former injection drug users, persons with HIV infection. The last ten years of the previous century and the first ten years of the new millennium have dramatically changed the history of hepatology. Sensitive and reliable diagnostic assays have become available for hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses. Studies conducted all over the world have documented the epidemiology and the transmission of hepatitis viruses. More recently, the new therapies for chronic hepatitis have revolutionized the scientific world. The incidence of HBV infection has dramatically changed over the last 25 years; moreover, vaccination available for newborns has been shown to reduce the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma. The incidence of HCV infection has also declined during the last twenty years. However, HCV in western countries is still the most important risk factor for chronic hepatitis and the most important cause of liver transplant. A vaccine against hepatitis C will be available in the near future. The new antiviral drugs limit the disease progression, improve survival and reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. The natural history of HCV infection is generally long and characterized by a slow progression to cirrhosis. The studies of the natural history together with the role of co-factors of liver disease (including alcohol, iron, genetics, and a number of environmental factors) have furnished an important lesson to hepatologists. Future is to cure and control early diseases including hepatitis B and C with the aim to reach a real reduction in morbidity and mortality.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2573491
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