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

Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Discovered in 1989, Hepatitis C is a contagious disease which is caused by a virus that infects the liver. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the United States with prevalence of Hepatitis C virus increasing worldwide. Countries with high rates of people chronically infected with Hepatitis C are Egypt (22%), Pakistan (4.8%) and China (3.2%).

According to the World Health Organization, about 130–170 million people are chronically infected with the Hepatitis C virus, with more than 350,000 people dying from Hepatitis C-related liver diseases each year.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.8 percent or 3.9 million Americans have been infected with Hepatitis C – of which 2.7 million are chronically infected.

If left untreated, Hepatitis C can lead to liver cancer, liver damage and ultimately liver failure.

Mayo Clinic “Acute Liver Failure” Retrieved May 20, 2011

Medscape “Diagnosis and Management of Acute Liver Failure” Retrieved May 20, 2011

Palmer, M.D., Melissa. Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease. New York: Avery Trade, 2004.

U.S. National Library of Medicine NIH National Institutes of Health “Acute liver failure caused by 'fat burners' and dietary supplements: a case report and literature review” Retrieved May 20, 2011

U.S. National Library of Medicine NIH National Institutes of Health “Influence of high body mass index on outcome in acute liver failure” Retrieved May 20, 2011< Worman, MD Howard J. The Liver Disorders and Hepatitis Sourcebook. McGraw-Hill, 2006