Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hepatitis C in the UK: 2013 report

Hepatitis C in the UK: 2013 report

Authors: PHE, HP Scotland, PH Wales, HSC

Publication date: July 2013

Download: Hepatitis C in the UK: 2013 report (PDF, 3.9 MB)


The most recent national estimates suggest that around 215,000 individuals are chronically infected with hepatitis C (HCV) in the UK; most of this infection (~90%) is genotype 1 and genotype 3.

Injecting drug use continues to be the most important risk factor for HCV infection in the UK. Data from the Unlinked Anonymous Monitoring (UAM) survey of people who inject drugs (PWID) suggest that levels of infection in this group remain high in 2012 (49% in England, 34% in Northern Ireland and 33% in Wales); in 2011/12, 53% of PWID surveyed in Scotland tested positive for antibodies to hepatitis C.

While it is acknowledged that both hospital episode statistics and death certification underestimate true numbers of admissions and deaths from HCV-related end stage liver disease (ESLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) national data shows that levels of both are continuing to rise in the UK.

Hospital admissions have risen from 612 in 1998 to 2268 in 2011, while deaths have risen from 98 in 1996 to 381 in 2011. An overall increase in registrations for liver transplants with a primary code of post-hepatitis C cirrhosis has been observed from 45 in 1996 to 124 in 2012, although figures have been relatively stable over the last five years.

To help tackle HCV infection, public health programmes need to make progress in the following four action areas:

*prevention of new infections
*increasing awareness of infection
*increasing testing and diagnosis
*getting diagnosed individuals into treatment and care

Download full publication

Last reviewed: 24 July 2013

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