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‘Strong Support, Political Will’ Needed to Achieve Global HBV, HCV Elimination Goals

Although progress has been made, nearly 12 million individuals will die early from preventable hepatitis B and hepatitis C deaths without additional interventions, according to research presented at the International Liver Congress 2022, held in London, UK on 22-26 June.

“The Polaris Observatory maintains and updates about 166 models for hepatitis B and over 100 models for hepatitis C every year,” Sarah Blach, HCV group leader at the Center for Disease Analysis Foundation in Colorado, told attendees. “The models are used to estimate the future disease burden for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, assuming that current trends, diagnoses and treatments, as well as harm-reduction programs, continue into the future.”

Blach and colleagues conducted a literature review and expert interviews to estimate global HBV and HCV disease burden through 2030, using 2015 as a baseline and WHO targets to show current progress. They used country-specific inputs to estimate the natural history of disease and future burden and applied regional averages to the total country population when data were not available.

Using the CDAF Polaris Observatory models, researchers reported that the prevalence of HBV is expected to decrease from 282 million in 2015 to 247 million in 2030, accounting for an 11% global decrease with Africa’s prevalence to remain constant. The incidence of chronic HBV is also expected to decrease by 43% (1,459,000-827,000 new cases per year) with all continents included in the decline. Conversely, the global mortality rate of HBV is expected to increase annually by 39% from 2015 to 2030 (850,300-1,109,500).

Blach and colleagues estimated a 15% decrease in global HCV prevalence, from 64 million in 2015 to 54 million in 2030. Similarly, the incidence of chronic HCV is expected to decline by 7% (1,521,000-1,409,000 new cases per year) with incidence increasing in Asia and North America. They further estimated HCV mortality to increase by 3% from 284,000 to 293,000 deaths annually.

Researchers noted that without additional interventions, nearly 12 million individuals will die early from preventable deaths.

“Globally, and at the continent level, viral hepatitis remains a public health threat through 2030, based off our current trends,” Blach said. “As sad and disappointing as some of these outcomes are, it’s really important to keep in mind that we have the tools to change this trajectory. We need strong support and political will in order to achieve the global and regional targets and achieve those elimination goals for hepatitis B and C.”

Source: Healio