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HCV Infection Among Children & Young Persons

J Hepatol; ePub 2018 Nov 26; Modin, et al

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in young people causes significant liver damage, and detection of HCV should be aimed at relevant risk groups with antiviral therapy made available in childhood to prevent long-term liver disease and spread of HCV. This according to a retrospective review of patients infected with HCV in childhood enrolled in HCV Research UK. Researchers found:

  • 1,049 patients were identified.
  • The main routes of HCV infection in this population were intravenous (IV) drug use (53%), blood products (24%), and perinatal infection (11%).
  • HCV infection in childhood causes cirrhosis in 32% of patients at median of 33 years, irrespective of infection route.
  • The treatment impact of disease progression is better if started before cirrhosis.
  • Anti-HCV therapy should be made available in childhood to prevent long-term liver disease.

Citation:

Modin L, Arshad A, Wilkes B, et al. Epidemiology and natural history of hepatitis C virus infection among children and young people. [Published online ahead of print November 26, 2018]. J Hepatol. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2018.11.013.