GCU researchers input into UK Hepatitis C report on World Hepatitis Day

28 July 2014

GCU researchers report on Hepatitis C in the UK

GCU researchers report on Hepatitis C in the UK

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have worked in association with Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland, and other national agencies to publish this year’s UK Hepatitis C Report today, on World Hepatitis Day (28 July 2014).

The report provides the latest data on Hepatitis C infection in the UK, and an account of how well services - designed to prevent, diagnose and treat Hepatitis C - are performing.

Hepatitis C is a serious public health problem, affecting in excess of 150 million people worldwide and an estimated 214,000 people in the UK.

Over the past 15 years, hospital admissions and deaths from hepatitis C-related liver failure and liver cancer in the UK have both risen four-fold.  

GCU’s Professor Sharon Hutchinson, one of the lead authors of the UK report, says: “A considerable amount of progress has been made in improving hepatitis C prevention, diagnosis and treatment services, particularly in Scotland where fewer people are now estimated to be living with chronic hepatitis C infection than in previous years.

“However, just under half of those chronically infected with hepatitis C remain unaware of their infection. Further, antiviral therapies exist that can clear the virus in the majority of cases, yet only around three per cent of the chronically infected population in Scotland and across the UK receive treatment each year. It is therefore vital to raise awareness about this condition so that more individuals are diagnosed and treated.”

Researchers within the Institute for Applied Health Research at GCU have an excellent track record in translating research into evidence-based public health policy and practice at the local, national and global level, having generated the key evidence for and supported the Scottish Government in relation to their Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework. This research focuses on the epidemiology of blood-borne viruses – hepatitis (B and C) and HIV – and quantitative understanding of the lifestyle factor and interventions which influence the acquisition of infection and development of disease.