Hepatitis requires unnecessarily many lives

Gepubliceerd op 11 oktober 2016 om 10:17

In the Netherlands die annually 500 patients with liver disease due to chronic hepatitis, of which 400 may be unnecessary. This is substantially more than is believed, according to research by Erasmus MC. Although there are medications, many patients are not treated.


Erasmus MC and the Dutch Liver Patient Association are very concerned about the high number of deaths from hepatitis B or C, an infection of the liver, which is transmitted through sexual contact or blood contamination.

They advocate a rapid screening, detection and treatment of tens of thousands of potential virus carriers.

Die each year by about 500 people liver diseases as a result of a hepatitis-infection. That figure researchers from Erasmus MC today in the Dutch Journal of Medicine.

,, A shockingly high number, '' said Jan Hendrik Richardus, epidemiologist and professor of Infectious Diseases and Public Health at Erasmus MC. ,, There is almost no infectious disease that annually as many people to death in the Netherlands. ''

The figures are also considerably higher than the 40 to 50 hepatitis deaths, according to Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) fall annually. This involves deaths in which a hepatitis infection is the primary cause of death.

insufficient awareness
Erasmus MC has also looked at the death rates of the CBS to diseases that are the result of a hepatitis infection, such as liver cancer or liver cirrhosis.

,, They disappear in the figures often out of sight, '' said Richardus. ,, It happens relatively few people directly death from hepatitis. That consciousness is there, even among medical specialists, insufficient. ''

According to the researchers, the problem is underestimated. According to their calculations, it is possible to prevent up to 80 percent of deaths, Richardus indicates.

About 28,000 Dutch have hepatitis C or have ever had. And 40,000 people have chronic hepatitis B.

Both are excellent to deal with. When drugs against hepatitis C, which are reimbursed since 2014, the virus disappears in most patients. However, the mortality rate has not decreased over the last few years.

liver Damage
For hepatitis B have been around since 2007, medications that suppress the virus and repair the damage to the liver. Even if the disease is treated only at a late stage, a majority survives the liver damage. People can also get vaccinated against hepatitis B.

Migrants from Asia or Africa often die from hepatitis than native Dutch. ,, It is not seen as an important and urgent problem. This is also a lack of knowledge and priority. GPs should think well who belong to the risk groups. It should be known that more to treat it is good. ""

The researchers advocate the National Hepatitis Plan, which will be presented on November 1, is carried out as quickly as possible. The plan of the RIVM is designed to detect and treat known and unknown virus carriers.

Professionals and health insurers have jointly before releasing money will Richardus.

,, There is a large group of people who do not know they have hepatitis, or who have been diagnosed in the past, but have never been treated. Hospitals and GPs, patients who were already registered in the past because of hepatitis recall. ''

The Dutch Liver Patients Association found death rates 'shocking'. The patient points to the successful response to HIV. A year after there was an effective treatment, died already 40 percent fewer people with AIDS.

And recently the province of North Brabant called on the government to people who may have Q fever to detect and treat. Up to now, there are 74 people to deceased.

,, In HIV is acted appropriately and decisively, '' said Richardus. ,, And with Q fever has been pulled all the stops in many fewer deaths. But hepatitis let's shoot for years. ''

By Editors AD: Photo: Thinkstock

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