The socioeconomic impact of hepatitis C infection and liver transplantation in Mexico

Autor: Méndez Sánchez Nahum

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Hepatitis C virus is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease and one of the principal indications for liver transplantation. Its prevalence and worldwide incidence varies, although there may be some similarities between different regions. Worldwide, the prevalence has been estimated to be approximately, 2.35% or 160 million infected people. In Mexico, the prevalence of HCV infection has been estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.5%. Considering the current population of our country, 112 millions,4 and the age group older than 20 years (69 million), approximately 1 million are chronically infected with HCV. Furthermore, according to the natural history of HCV infection, 20 to 30% (200,000 to 300,000) of these patients can be expected to progress to liver cirrhosis. In addition, HCV is one of the leading causes of end-stage liver disease requiring liver transplantation. Major centers report that nearly 25-30% of their candidate pools consist of hepatitis C virus-infected patients.5 The pessimistic estimates mentioned regarding the prevalence of active HCV infection, and the proportion who might progress to cirrhosis, could be improved if those hepatitis C patients could be diagnosed and receive medical treatment in a timely manner. Moreover, excluding patients with compensated cirrhosis from treatment would reduce considerably the potential benefit on disease morbidity and mortality. Nowadays the combination treatment (pegylated interferon and ribavirin) achieve, at best, a sustained virologic response (SVR) in about 54 to 56% of treated cases.6 Fortunately, with the new drugs available.

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2012-06-14   |   546 visitas   |   Evalua este artículo 0 valoraciones

Vol. 11 Núm.4. Julio-Agosto 2012 Pags. 550-551 Ann Hepatol 2012; 11(4)