Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hepatitis C will become a rare disease in 22 years, study predicts

Date:
August 4, 2014
Source:
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Summary:
Effective new drugs and screening would make hepatitis C a rare disease by 2036, according to a computer simulation. "Hepatitis C (HCV) is the leading cause of liver cancer and accounts for more than 15,000 deaths in the U.S. each year," said a corresponding author on the study. "If we can improve access to treatment and incorporate more aggressive screening guidelines, we can reduce the number of chronic HCV cases, prevent more cases of liver cancer and reduce liver-related deaths."

Effective new drugs and screening would make hepatitis C a rare disease by 2036, according to a computer simulation conducted by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The results of the simulation are reported in the August 5 edition of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Articles


"Hepatitis C (HCV) is the leading cause of liver cancer and accounts for more than 15,000 deaths in the U.S. each year," said Jagpreet Chhatwal, Ph.D., assistant professor of Health Services Research at MD Anderson, and corresponding author on the study.

"If we can improve access to treatment and incorporate more aggressive screening guidelines, we can reduce the number of chronic HCV cases, prevent more cases of liver cancer and reduce liver-related deaths," Chhatwal said.

HCV -- a virus transmitted through the blood -- is spread by sharing of needles, the use of contaminated medical equipment, and by tattoo and piercing equipment that has not been fully sterilized. Those at the highest risk for exposure are baby boomers -- people born between 1945 and 1965. Widespread screening of the U.S. blood supply for hepatitis C began in 1992. A majority of people were infected through blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1992.

Baby boomers account for 75 percent of the estimated 2.7 to 3.9 million people infected in the United States. Half of people with the virus are not aware they are infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommend a one-time HCV screening for this population group.

In this study, Chhatwal and his collaborators used a mathematical model with information from several sources including more than 30 clinical trials to predict the impact of new therapies called "direct-acting antivirals" and the use of screening for chronic HCV cases.

Researchers developed a computer model to analyze and predict disease trends from 2001 to 2050. The model was validated with historical data including a recently published national survey on HCV prevalence. Researchers predicted with new screening guidelines and therapies, HCV will only affect one in 1,500 people in the U.S. by 2036.

The model predicts one-time HCV screening of baby boomers would help identify 487,000 cases over the next 10 years.

"Though impactful, the new screening guideline does not identity the large number of HCV patients who would progress to advanced disease stages without treatment and could die," Chhatwal said.

"Making hepatitis C a rare disease would be a tremendous, life-saving accomplishment," said lead author Mina Kabiri, a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. "However, to do this, we will need improved access to care and increased treatment capacity, primarily in the form of primary care physicians who can manage the care of infected people identified through increased screening."

In this study, researchers predicted a one-time universal screening could identify 933,700 HCV cases. Chhatwal and his colleagues also predict the universal screening and timely treatment can make HCV a rare disease in the next 12 years. Such screening can further prevent:

• 161,500 liver related deaths,

• 13,900 liver transplants and

• 96,300 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma -- the most common type of liver cancer.

Chhatwal, whose current research focuses on evaluations of cancer prevention strategies using quantitative methods, says the availability of highly effective therapies and screening updates provide a great opportunity to tackle the hepatitis C epidemic. "But we need to ensure that we provide timely and affordable access to treatment to achieve the potential benefits."

"The new treatment that costs $1,000 a day has been a subject of debate and can become a barrier to timely access to all patients," Chhatwal said.

"Although recent screening recommendations are helpful in decreasing the chronic HCV infection rates, more aggressive screening recommendations and ongoing therapeutic advances are essential to reducing the burden, preventing liver-related deaths and eventually eradicating HCV," Chhatwal said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mina Kabiri, Alison B. Jazwinski, Mark S. Roberts, Andrew J. Schaefer, Jagpreet Chhatwal. The Changing Burden of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the United States: Model-Based Predictions. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2014; 161 (3): 170 DOI: 10.7326/M14-0095

Cite This Page:

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Hepatitis C will become a rare disease in 22 years, study predicts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804202048.htm>.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. (2014, August 4). Hepatitis C will become a rare disease in 22 years, study predicts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804202048.htm
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Hepatitis C will become a rare disease in 22 years, study predicts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804202048.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins