Prevalence and Challenges of Liver Diseases in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection

Ira M. JAcobson; Gary L. Davis; Hashem El–Serag; Francesco Negro; Christian trépo

Disclosures

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010;8(11):924-933. 

In This Article

Changing our Views

The impact of HCV infection on the burden of liver disease is becoming evident as individuals unknowingly infected decades ago age and develop severe sequelae of advanced liver fibrosis. Up to 1 million Americans are predicted to develop HCV-related hepatic complications during the next 2 decades.[26] Persons born between the 1940s and 1960s account for most infections, with the highest risk among those with a history of IDU or blood transfusions before 1992. Once chronic infection is established, disease progression is variable and dependent on several factors. Cirrhosis, liver failure, and HCC might occur at a faster rate and in more patients than previously believed.

HCV infection is a health care priority. Increasing access to treatment might significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality burden of HCV infection.[136] Other measures to tackle the challenge of HCV include improving surveillance, screening and identifying patients at risk of progression, and optimizing therapy. We now need to capitalize on what we know about HCV and formulate strategies to address the anticipated surge in HCV-related morbidity and mortality. New HCV treatments are in development that might increase SVR and potentially decrease the burden of hepatic complications in populations with significant unmet need.

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