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Hepatitis kills more people than tuberculosis or HIV

 
14 July 2016, 14:30

Scientists suggest that a new threat to the life of all mankind can become hepatitis virus type. A new study, conducted by specialists from the London Imperial College and the University of Washington, found that more people die of viral hepatitis every year than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

There are several forms of viral hepatitis, infection occurs through food or water, saliva, with unprotected intercourse, and fecal-oral route.

The experts studied the data obtained from different countries (more than 180 countries took part in the study), which were collected for 23 years. As a result, it was found that more than 95% of deaths are associated with form B or C hepatitis, in which the liver is destroyed and cirrhosis or cancer develops. Patients with this form of hepatitis feel fatigue, a feeling of nausea, skin turns yellow, but in most cases the disease is asymptomatic and people live for years without knowing about infection until serious complications develop.

Also, scientists found that in 23 years people began to die more often from viral hepatitis (by 63%), mostly from high- and middle-income countries. The lead author of the study, Graham Cook, noted that his colleagues' work represents the maximum analysis of the hepatitis virus type globally. The data obtained indicate that the number of deaths from this disease exceeds 1 million, while the death rate from other dangerous diseases has been decreasing since 1990.

Modern medicine treats some types of viral hepatitis and is quite successful, effective vaccines and preparations have been developed, but the fight against this disease is financed much less than, for example, the fight against tuberculosis, HIV or malaria.

In the course of studying data from different countries, as already mentioned, the number of deaths from various liver diseases, incl. And cirrhosis, increased by 63% since 1990 - from 890 thousand to 1450000.

In 2013, hepatitis killed more people than from HIV (1,300,000 people), malaria (855,000 people), tuberculosis (1,400,000 people).

In addition, the researchers found that hepatitis most often die in East Asia and mostly from forms B and C. According to experts, one of the reasons for this may be that these types of the virus are virtually asymptomatic and gradually cause serious damage to the liver. 

Recently, scientists and the medical school of Hanover (Germany) and the University of Skolkovo (Russia) have developed a new drug that allows to control viral hepatitis type B and D, which are considered fatal. The new drug showed good results in clinical trials - in combination with traditional methods of treatment, 72% of patients completely recovered from hepatitis.

Hepatitis B and D virus is extremely dangerous, because several years after infection, cirrhosis or liver cancer develops in patients and a new tool gives hope for recovery to thousands of people.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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