Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR
The STI Project recently had the pleasure of attending the Hepatitis Summit hosted by the Hepatitis Foundation International thanks to the donation of a very dear friend.
Not only did I learn soooo much about hepatitis – all kinds – I had fabulous company and conversation to make learning an incredibly enjoyable experience.
As a result, I’ve now tons of information to share with you guys and I’ll be doing so over the course of the next couple of weeks. I won’t bombard you with hepatitis post after hepatitis post, but I’ll definitely be posting a lot about it, because our livers are integral to our health.
Today’s post will be the first in my Hepatitis Summit posts and talks about STD statistics – hepatitis in particular – in order to give you a sense of how many people are affected by these viruses.
Remember, the liver is a silent organ and doesn’t complain when it’s infected. Most people are unaware they have been infected with hepatitis A, B or C, and without testing one often doesn’t know until extensive damage has been done – irreversible damage.
STD Statistics – Hepatitis C (HCV)
- Approx. 3-4 million people are infected in the United States
- Average age at diagnosis – 55 (most asymptomatic)
- About 15-20% diagnosed already have cirrhosis
- 17,000 new infections occur annually (US)
- > 15,000 deaths occur annually (US)
- Accounts for 5% of all acute hepatitis infections (lasting less than 6 months)
- Accounts for 60-70% of all chronic hepatitis
- Accounts for 50% of cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma (a form of liver cancer)
- 40-50% of all adult liver transplants
- 73% of HCV-related deaths occurred in adults aged 45-64 years
- Those born from 1950-1959 are disproportionately affected
- HCV Rapid Antibody tests have a very high (98-99%) positive and negative predictive value
- 15-45% of Hep C infections detected early and during the acute stage recover
HIV – Hepatitis C Co-Infections
- 25% of all HIV infected persons are co-infected with Hep C
- End-stage liver disease is the leading cause of death in HCV/HIV coinfected patients (31%), surpassing AIDS (29%), cancer (9%), cardiovascular disease (8%), and bacterial infections (7%)
- Up to 40% of HCV/HIV coinfected patients can achieve an SVR (sustained virologic response) with peginterferon + ribovirin
Hepatitis B (HBV)
- Up to 7 days – how long the Hep B virus remains active on a surface
- 35,000 annual acute infections in the US – the most common form of acute viral hepatitis
- 1.25-2 million chronic infections in the US
- > 3,000 deaths occur annually (US)
- More than 350-400 million chronically infected worldwide
- Responsible for up to 80% of all hepatocellular carcinomas (a form of liver cancer)
- More than 600,000 deaths worldwide annually
- Chronic Hep B is the major global cause of progressive liver disease
- HBV is 100 times more infectious than HIV
- Adults between the ages of 20-49 have the highest rate of HBV infection
- 95% of adults recover within 6 months
Hepatitis A (HAV)
- 25,000-30,000 Americans infected annually
- 1 in 1,000 suffers from a sudden and severe infection
- The Hep A vaccine provides protection within two weeks after first injection
- A second injection can last for up to 25 years
- A vaccine combining Hep A & B can be given to individuals > 18
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What do you think about the statistics above? Were you surprised by some of those numbers? Have you been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B yet? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!