2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
Hepatitis B viruses under an electron microscope
An international group of researchers has come to the conclusion that in recent years, viral hepatitis has become one of the leading causes of death of the world's population. The results of the work were published in The Lancet.
The Global Burden of Disease Study, a collaboration that brought together researchers from dozens of countries, estimated the incidence and mortality from acute viral hepatitis, as well as cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by chronic infections, taking into account age and gender, by country from 1990 to 2013.
Mortality from acute hepatitis was estimated using natural history models, and from cirrhosis and liver cancer - specially created compositional models. The global prevalence of cirrhosis and cancer in accordance with the causes of their development was estimated by meta-regression.
It turned out that over the specified period of time, the global number of deaths from viral hepatitis increased from 0.89 million to 1.45 million per year. The total number of disability-adjusted life years (an indicator of the burden of disease equal to the sum of the years that a person lived with a disability and the years that a person did not live to reach the average life expectancy) increased from 31.7 million to 42.5 million.
Thus, viral hepatitis in 2013 came to the seventh place among all causes of death of the world population, having risen by three positions since 1990. While these infections have become one of the leading causes of death and disability, the researchers write, the availability of vaccines and effective antiviral drugs has the potential to improve global public health.
According to one of the authors of the work, Graham Cooke, viral hepatitis now kills as many people as tuberculosis, malaria or HIV infection, but funding to combat them is much more modest. The global plan of action adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2016 is intended to combat this.
Currently, the existence of five types of viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D and E) has been confirmed. The vast majority of deaths (about 96 percent) are associated with chronic hepatitis B and C, leading to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer.