A landmark research paper entitled “Hepatitis B and C in Europe: an update from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019” was published on 5 September in The Lancet Public Health, shedding light on the current situation of hepatitis B and C virus infections across Europe. The study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by an international team of researchers from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) network. The paper was co-authored by Professor Nuno Taveira, associate researcher and group leader at iMed.ULisboa – FFUL, and Dr. Claudia Palladino, researcher at iMed.ULisboa.
Hepatitis B and C are serious viral infections that, if left untreated, can lead to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and even liver cancer. The study provides a critical and comprehensive overview of mortality, prevalence, incidence and disability-adjusted life years from acute hepatitis, cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases, and liver cancer, as well as regional variations and trends in these diseases from 2010 to 2019, highlighting the urgency of coordinated actions in European countries to achieve the goal of elimination by 2030.
The main conclusions of the study are:
This research serves as a wake-up call for policy makers, health professionals and the public to prioritise efforts to prevent and control hepatitis B and C in order to reduce the burden of these infections and improve the quality of life for millions of people.