Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have worked in association with Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland, and other national agencies to publish this years UK Hepatitis C Report (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hepatitis-c-in-the-uk), on World Hepatitis Day (July 28th 2014). The report provides the latest data on Hepatitis C infection in the UK, and an account of how well services, designed to prevent, diagnose and treat Hepatitis C, are performing.
Hepatitis C is a serious public health problem, affecting in excess of 150 million people worldwide and an estimated 214,000 people in the UK. Over the past fifteen years, hospital admissions and deaths from hepatitis C-related liver failure and liver cancer in the UK have both risen four-fold.
Professor Sharon Hutchinson from GCU, one of the lead authors of the UK report, highlights that “a considerable amount of progress has been made in improving hepatitis C prevention, diagnosis and treatment services, particularly in Scotland where fewer people are now estimated to be living with chronic hepatitis C infection than in previous years. However, just under half of those chronically infected with hepatitis C remain unaware of their infection. Further, antiviral therapies exist that can clear the virus in the majority of cases, yet only around three per cent of the chronically infected population in Scotland and across the UK receive treatment each year. It is therefore vital to raise awareness about this condition so that more individuals are diagnosed and treated.”