Essential facts, stats and quotes relating to hepatitis C
Published on: 14th August 2015 | Updated on: 28th March 2022
This page contains facts, stats and quotes that LPC members may find useful when writing business cases or developing resources to support the commissioning of a blood-borne virus screening service.
This page is ‘work in progress’ and will continue to be updated with new facts, stats and quotes.
Facts, stats and quotes on other topics can be accessed on the Essential facts, stats and quotes page.
- Across the UK, more individuals are being tested and diagnosed; over the last five years particular improvements have been seen in primary care where surveillance indicates that testing has risen by 21%, 46% and 53% in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively, suggesting that awareness of infection may be increasing in this setting.
- Injecting drug use continues to be the most important risk factor for HCV infection in the UK with half of people who inject drugs thought to have been infected in England and Wales; levels are lower in Northern Ireland (23%) and higher in Scotland (57%).
- Over the last decade (2004-2013), hospital admissions from HCV-related end stage liver disease (ESLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have nearly trebled (2.8-fold increase) in the UK, and deaths from these indications have more than doubled (2.2-fold increase).
- National estimates suggest that around 214,000 individuals are chronically infected with hepatitis C (HCV) in the UK; most infection (~90%) is genotype 1 and genotype 3.
- Recent UK surveys suggest that between 45-68% of people who inject drugs are aware of their HCV infections; levels of awareness of infection have remained relatively stable in the UK over the last decade.
Between 1996 and 2014, 15% of all liver transplants in England, were carried out in patients with hepatitis C-related disease.
- There is good evidence that combining effective drug treatments, such as opiate substitution therapy; supporting safe injecting, for example through needle and syringe programmes (NSP); and treating HCV infection, can impact on the incidence and prevalence of HCV infection among people who inject drugs.
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