Navigation Links
Millions of Americans Are Living With Hidden Epidemics of Hepatitis B and C, Top Experts Warn
Date:9/27/2010

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) issued a new report today calling for action to be taken to transform how the country deals with viral hepatitis – to help identify millions of Americans who know they are living with chronic forms of hepatitis B and C and to assure access to treatment for all who need it, to prevent even more Americans from becoming infected.

"This report is a critical next step that builds on a recent groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report on viral hepatitis and translates it into a series of action items which will be critically important to control the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis in the US," said Arun J Sanyal MD, President of AASLD.

The report, HBV & HCV: America's Hidden Epidemics, examines how new measures included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) combined with new scientific advancements could be used to spare millions of Americans from developing cirrhosis, liver cancer, or other life threatening complications as they age – which could also lead to billions of dollars in health care savings.  

"HBV and HCV are ticking time bombs.  If we don't act now to diagnose the millions of Baby Boomers and others, we'll be too late to spare them from developing serious liver diseases.  We'll all end up paying the price, since Medicare and Medicaid will end up picking up the tab for much of the care," said Jeff Levi, PhD., Executive Director of TFAH.  "Health reform and new science give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we deal with these silent killers."

Some key findings in the report include that:

  • An estimated 65 to 75 percent of the five million Americans currently infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) do not even know they have the virus;  
  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that 150,000 Americans could die from liver cancer or end-stage liver disease associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the next decade;
  • The death rate from HCV is expected to triple in the next 10 to 20 years;
  • An independent analysis found total medical costs for HCV patients could more than double over the next 20 years – from $30 to $80 billion per year;
  • Liver cancer treatment can be more than $62,000 for the first year cost and the first-year cost of a liver transplant can be more than $267,000;
  • Two-thirds of HCV cases are Baby Boomers – and if they are left untreated, it could lead to a major increase in upcoming Medicare spending;
  • One in 10 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are estimated to have a chronic HBV infection;
  • An estimated 540,000 to 858,000 African Americans are estimated to have a chronic HCV infection;
  • Approximately 800 to 1,000 infants in the United States are infected with HBV at birth each year; and
  • At least 100,000 patients have been notified about potential exposure to HBV, HCV, and/or HIV while receiving health care since 1998.

Some highlight recommendations from AASLD and TFAH in the report include:  

  • HBV and HCV screening and HBV vaccination should be the standard of care in the reformed health system.  All Americans should be screened for HBV and HCV and all Americans should be vaccinated for HBV;
  • All pregnant women should be screened for HBV and appropriate health measures should be taken to prevent perinatal transmission from infected mothers to their newborns.  All newborns should receive their initial (birthdose) of hepatitis vaccine within twelve hours of birth;
  • Every person diagnosed with HBV or HCV should have access to and receive a minimum standardized level of care and receive support services;
  • Strong public education campaigns and improved surveillance must be put in place to help prevent new infections;
  • Policies must be established to ensure that health care associated hepatitis infections are treated as a "never event;" and
  • The investment in hepatitis-related biomedical and behavior must be significantly increased – and should be more proportionate to the public health threat associated with hepatitis.

The full report is available on AASLD's website www.aasld.org and TFAH's website www.healthyamericans.org.

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) is the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease and whose vision is to prevent and cure liver disease through its mission to advance the science and practice of Hepatology, Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery, thereby promoting liver health and optimal care of patients with liver and biliary tract diseases. www.aasld.org

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org

This release was issued through The Xpress Press News Service, merging e-mail and satellite distribution technologies to reach business analysts and media outlets worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.XpressPress.com.

Media contacts: Laura Segal (202) 223-9870 x 27 or lsegal@tfah.org or Gregory Bologna 703-299-9766 x 2221 or gbologna@aasld.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Joslin Study Identifies Key Factor That Links Metabolic Syndrome; Finding May Help Millions at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
2. Kansas Invests Millions in Innovations to Improve Human Health and Launches Three National Bioscience Programs at BIO08
3. New Research from Best Practices Can Save Biopharma Companies Millions: Pharmaceutical New Product Planning - Structure and Activities to Drive Profitability
4. For Millions With Untreated Hearing Loss, Holiday Season Can be Especially Difficult
5. New Study Findings Could Help Millions Who Suffer From Dry Mouth: Over-The-Counter Muco-Adhesive Patch Outperforms Leading Oral Rinse
6. Aspirin Named 8th World Wonder by Majority of Americans
7. Actress and Mother Jennifer Garner Joins American Lung Association to Encourage Americans to Get an Influenza Vaccination
8. Nebivolol Lowers Blood Pressure in African Americans With Stage I-II Hypertension as Demonstrated in a Study Published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension
9. UPDATE: Nebivolol Lowers Blood Pressure in African Americans With Stage I-II Hypertension as Demonstrated in a Study Published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension
10. Lack of Medicare Part D Coverage for All Medically Necessary Prescriptions Endangers Older Americans and Those with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities
11. New Report Offers Hope for Closing Health Gap for African Americans, With Nearly 700 Medicines in Pipeline
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas ... Brasil as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... of Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Experian ... integrating and transforming the patient payment and ... several innovative new products and services that ... its revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning solutions ... efficient workflows, remain compliant in an ever-changing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... preset to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... all fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a ... the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who ... , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its ... PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing ... contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by ... Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased ... and genomics experience, as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG ... leading the sales team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):