Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Increasing Demand for Liver Transplants

The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the most common blood-borne infection and cause of liver disease requiring transplantation in the U.S. More than one percent of Americans has a chronic HCV infection. As I describe in a series of posts, individuals with HCV are much more likely to develop cirrhosis and up to 5% will […]

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HCV and the Cost of Increasing Liver Disease Severity

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increases total healthcare costs but the effect of the severity of liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) on healthcare costs has not been well studied. A paper by Gordon et al. (2012) answers this question. The authors stratify patients by liver disease severity–noncirrhotic liver disease (NCD), compensated cirrhosis […]

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Does the Optimal Medical Treatment of Hepatitis C depend on whether the Patient is Incarcerated?

Incarcerated individuals are more likely to have the hepatitis C virus (HCV) than those who live in the community.  The high prevalence of HCV infection in the prison population is largely due tot he fact that prisoners hare more likely to have a history of intravenous drug use.  “A history of intravenous drug use is […]

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Should all individuals be screened for Hepatitis C?

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is largely curable: “In clinical trials, antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PEG-IFNR) has resulted in a sustained viral response (SVR) (that is, cure) of HCV infection in 46% of patients infected with genotype 1 (which infects 70% and 90% of chronically infected white and African American persons in […]

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Hepatitis C Around the World

The global burden of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is distressing. “[A]n estimated 130–170 million persons (2%–3% of the world’s population) are living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection [1]. This infection, particularly in its chronic form, is associated with sizable morbidity and mortality. More than 350 000 deaths are attributed to HCV infection each […]

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Is Hepatitis C a more significant killer than HIV?

According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in the U.S. the answer is yes. “National serum surveys indicate that approximately 3.2 million persons in the United States are living with chronic hepatitis C (10), 66% of whom were born between 1945 and 1964 and are now entering a period of risk for […]

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