November 8, 2011 - By examining multiple-cause death records, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that deaths from viral hepatitis are insufficiently appreciated and by 2007 were exceeding reported deaths caused by HIV. Approximately 21. 8 million records were included in the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases on Tuesday, November 8.
Those records were examined for mention of hepatitis B or C and for HIV. For the period of 1999 to 2007, deaths associated with hepatitis B remained constant, HIV declined, and hepatitis C increased - significantly. Almost three-quarters of HCV-related deaths occurred in the 45-64 year-old age group. HIV was one of the comorbidities associated with viral hepatitis, as were chronic liver disease, other hepatitis virus, and alcohol-related conditions.
Scott Holmberg, MD, the study's presenter at the Liver Meeting® spoke directly to the conclusion of his team's study, which states a change in policy direction to improve detection and access to care for patients with hepatitis is required to decrease mortality associated with hepatitis, "Without reducing allocation of resources that have diminished HIV deaths, we think a commitment to detect and treat chronic HCV will markedly improve the growing wave of disability and death from this under-appreciated viral infection."
Abstract title: The growing burden of mortality associated with viral hepatitis in the United States, 1999-2007
AASLD is the leading medical organization for advancing the science and practice of hepatology. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD's vision is to prevent and cure liver diseases. This year's Liver Meeting®, held in San Francisco, California, November 4 - 8, will bring together more than 8,000 researchers from 55 countries.
A press room will be available from November 5 at the annual meeting. For copies of abstracts and press releases, or to arrange researcher interviews, contact Gregory Bologna at 703-299-9766. Press releases and all abstracts are available online at www.aasld.org .
Media Contact: Gregory Bologna
Press Room: November 5 - 8, 2011
Moscone West Convention Center, Room 2018
Researcher: Scott Holmberg, MD, MPH