Hepatitis Central

The latest research & treatment news about Hepatitis C infection, diagnosis, symptoms and treatments.

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New Hepatitis C Study Cures 90% of Patients

Learn more about the combination of two anti-viral drugs (daclatasvir and asunaprevir) developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co that has been highly effective and well tolerated among study participants.

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FREE Educational Webinar: What You Need to Know About HCV

If you or a family member was recently diagnosed, this free webinar from the American Liver Foundation and the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation could be the educational resource you've been looking for.

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FREE WEBINAR Diagnosing and Treating HE: A Physician’s Perspective

Register for this free webinar if you'd like a better grasp of this complicated condition or want a clearer understanding about a specific HE-related issue.

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Gilead Gets Approved for Accelerated Assessment of Hep C Drug

The European Medicines Agency will conduct a full assessment of Gilead Science's Hepatitis C therapy.

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Government Impact of Hep C Drug Price Tag

If Medicare must absorb the bulk of Sovaldi’s cost, what long term effect will Hepatitis C treatment have on this federally funded program?

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Will Prisoners Be Denied New Hepatitis C Drugs?

Learn more about the costly advances in Hepatitis C treatment, and the ethical dilemma it now poses for eradicating the virus from infected prisoners.

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Living With Hepatitis C

When you or someone you love is Living with Hepatitis C, you need as much reliable information as you can find. Hepatitis-Central.com is here to help educate patients and their families about hepatitis, its symptoms and all the available treatment options. With our editors continuously scanning press releases, news reports and clinical trial results, this is where you'll first learn about breakthrough treatments and critical information on related conditions such as ascites, elevated liver enzymes and autoimmune hepatitis.

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Hepatitis C Is a Deadly Disease

According to Dr. Eugene Schiff (University of Miami), the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) emerged in the U.S. population beginning in the 1960s, related to blood transfusion and injection drug use. The extent of the problem was only apparent after 1990 when reliable HCV blood tests first became available. Studies indicate that over the first 20 years of chronic Hepatitis C infection, 20% of chronically infected patients will develop cirrhosis, and many of those will progress to liver cancer. HCV-associated end-stage liver disease is a leading indication for liver transplantation in the USA and the developed western world.

Millions of Patients Are Affected by Hepatitis C

Currently, it is estimated there are about 130 -170 million people worldwide who are infected with Hepatitis C, of which approximately 4 million are in the United States. Hepatitis C accounts for 8,000-10,000 deaths each year in the United States.

The CDC (Centers For Disease Control) estimates that there may be up to 17,000 new Hepatitis C infections in the U.S. every year. Worldwide it is estimated there are 3-4 million people infected with HCV each year. Countries with the highest infection rates are Egypt (22%), Pakistan (4.8%) and China (3.2%).  80% of those infected with the Hepatitis C virus will not have any initial symptoms and therefore new infections are rarely identified.

Of those infected with HCV approximately 75-85% will eventually develop chronic Hepatitis C infections. Once chronically infected approximately 60-70% will develop chronic liver disease, between 5-20% will develop cirrhosis over a period of 20-30 years, and 1-5% die from cirrhosis or liver cancer.

The incidence of new symptomatic infections of HCV has been estimated to be 13 cases/100,000 persons annually. For every one person that is infected with the AIDS virus, there are more than four infected with HCV.

The Public Effects Are Going to Get Worse, Fast

Over the next 10-20 years chronic Hepatitis C is predicted to become a major burden on the health care system as patients who are currently asymptomatic with relatively mild disease progress to end-stage liver disease and develop hepatocellular carcinoma. Predictions in the USA indicate that there will be a 60% increase in the incidence of cirrhosis, a 68% increase in hepatoma incidence, a 279% increment in incidence of hepatic decompensation, a 528% increase in the need for transplantation, and a 223% increase in liver death rate.

Current Medical HCV Treatment Is Limited

Current medical treatment for Hepatitis C is limited. Pegylated interferon/ribavirin combination therapy is effective in less than 50% of cases of HCV genotype 1 (the most common genotype in North America). Two companies, Roche and Schering, have their own FDA approved versions. Each claims their formulation is superior for treating Hepatitis C.

May 2011 two new drugs were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use with pegylated interferon and ribavirin - Victrelis™ (boceprevir) and Incivek™ (telaprevir). In clinical studies they were shown to decrease treatment time and increase sustained virologic response (SVR)  in patients that have not been treated before or who have failed previous Hepatitis C treatment.

Some Natural Therapies Have Real Value

There are also natural approaches for dealing with Hepatitis C. The credible ones focus on protecting and supporting the liver and keeping the immune system healthy. There is some proof that you can use natural means to help you live a long and relatively healthy life with this virus and die of some other cause (preferably old age). There is no natural cure for Hepatitis C, and if anyone claims they have one, they are lying. It is as simple as that.

Dubious treatments and supposed cures for HCV are being sold by charlatans and rip off artists. You need to be discerning when considering alternative therapies to help you deal with HCV. Look for scientific clinical validation. Objective third-party proof of effectiveness and safety is essential. We are involved with one product we think very highly of called UltraThistle. It is a high quality medical milk thistle with scientific validation and a very reasonable price.

Poll

Q: Numerous studies have demonstrated correlations between gluten intolerance and liver disorders. What do you think is the most common symptom of gluten sensitivity?

Submit YOUR questions / suggestions!

Previous Poll

Q: People with liver concerns are extremely vulnerable to fluid retention from salt consumption. Which popular food dish do you think packs the most sodium (and should be avoided)?

  • 57% French Onion Soup from TGI Fridays
  • 17% Chicken Alfredo Pizza from The Olive Garden
  • 16% Texas Cheese Fries from Chili's Bar & Grill
  • 11% Honey BBQ Chicken Salad from Buffalo Wild Wings
See other previous polls »

Find out which salty dishes to skip!

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