The importance of HCV on the burden of chronic liver disease in Italy: a multicenter prevalence study of 9,997 cases

Pier Luigi Almasio, Carlo Scolastico, Michele Imparato, Tommaso Stroffolini, Mirella Onofrio, Nicola Coppola, Luigina Ferrigno, Pietro Filippini, Evangelista Sagnelli, Alfonso Mele, Natale Coppola

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

107 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

Knowledge of the current epidemiology of chronic liver disease in Italy is mostly obsolete and fragmentary for the lack of up-to-date consistent data. In 2001, a 6-month prevalence study was undertaken in 79 hospitals to assess the characteristics of chronic liver disease in Italy. Both prevalent and incident cases were enrolled. A total of 9,997 patients were recruited, of whom 939 (9.4%) had normal liver biochemistry, 6,210 (62.1%) had chronic hepatitis, 1,940 (19.4%) had liver cirrhosis, and 341 (3.4%) had hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In 567 patients (5.7%) the diagnosis was not established. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was found in 69.9% of the patients and was the only etiological factor in 56.3% of all the patients. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was present in the serum of 13.4% of the cases (in 10% it was the only etiological factor). A history of alcohol abuse was found in 23% of the cases (9.4% without viral infection). The prevalence of HCV-related cases was significantly lower in incident than in prevalent cases (44.9% vs. 59.9%, P<0.0001), while the proportion of patients with alcohol abuse was much higher in incident than in prevalent cases (18.1% vs. 6.6%, P<0.0001). These findings indicate that nearly one quarter of patients with chronic liver diseases in Italy have a severe disease such as liver cirrhosis and HCC represents a not negligible burden for the national health system. Hepatitis B fell in importance as an etiological factor. Hepatitis C is the important pathogenic factor for chronic liver disease in Italy. However, a comparison between the prevalent and incident cases suggests that in future HCV infection will also play a progressively decreasing role, in part as a consequence of treatment.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)522-527
Numero di pagine6
RivistaJournal of Medical Virology
Volume75
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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