In a population-based cohort study, the prevalence of diagnosed active hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection had dropped by nearly half over 3 years in Spain, with the number of patients with post-treatment viral clearance (PTVC) much higher than the number of new diagnoses. Using electronic healthcare databases, researchers described changes in the prevalence of diagnosed active HCV infection that the beginning and the end of 2017, the rate of new diagnoses, and the rate of PTVC during this study period. They found:
- At the start of 2015 there were 1,503 patients diagnosed with positive HCV-RNA (2.4 per 1,000 inhabitants); by the end of 2017 the prevalence had decreased by 47%.
- 333 (18 per 100,000 person-years) new positive HCV-RNA cases were detected during the study period; however, only 76 (23%; 4.2 per 100,000 person-years) did not have anti-HCV antibodies previously detected.
- Prevalent cases and new diagnoses of active infection were more frequent in men, those born in 1950-1979, HIV-infected patients, and in those with lower income levels.
- Among patients with HCV-RNA, 984 achieved PTVC (22.7 per 100 person-years).
Juanbeltz R, Pérez-García A, Aguinaga A, et al. Progress in the elimination of hepatitis C virus infection: A population-based cohort study in Spain. [Published online ahead of print December 4, 2018]. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0208554.
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