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Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a disease that affects both men and woman old or young.
Currently, there are about 200 million people worldwide who are infected with the Hepatitis C virus, 4.9 million of those are in the United States (estimates go as high as 15 million) and 5 million in Western Europe. The prevalence seems to be higher in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. In industrialized countries, HCV accounts for 20% of cases of acute Hepatitis, 70% of cases of chronic Hepatitis, 40% of cases of end-stage cirrhosis, 60% of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma and 30% of liver transplants.

The incidence of new symptomatic infections has been estimated to be 13 cases/100,000 persons annually. For every one person that is infected with the AIDS virus, there are more than four infected with Hepatitis C. The CDC (Center For Disease Control) estimates that there are up to 230,000 new Hepatitis C infections in the U.S. every year. Currently, 8,000 to 10,000 deaths each year are a result of HCV.

Over the next 10-20 years chronic Hepatitis C is predicted to become a major burden on the health care system as patients who are currently asymptomatic with relatively mild disease progress to end-stage liver disease and develop hepatocellular carcinoma. Predictions in the USA indicate that there will be a 60% increase in the incidence of cirrhosis, a 68% increase in hepatoma incidence, a 279% increment in incidence of hepatic decompensation, a 528% increase in the need for transplantation, and a 223% increase in liver death rate.





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