In the UK, the main route of Hepatitis C virus infection in young people is intravenous drug abuse.
April 20, 2017, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Results from a retrospective review of a UK national Hepatitis C virus (HCV) database found that over one-third of young people (<18 years old) with childhood acquired HCV develop serious long-term liver disease, 5% develop liver cancer and more than 4% undergo a liver transplant. The cohort study, presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, revealed intravenous drug abuse as the main route of HCV infection in young people in the UK (53%, n=535/1,014).
HCV is one of the most widespread transmissible diseases globally. 1 It is estimated to infect over 185 million people worldwide, of whom 350,000 die each year, with 84,000 of those being in Europe.2 HCV is considered a silent pandemic as most people do not know that they have it.1 HCV causes both acute and chronic infection, with about 55–85% of HCVinfected individuals developing chronic infection.2 HCV is a leading cause of chronic liver disease, end-stage cirrhosis and liver cancer.3 In the United States, 23,000 to 46,000 children are estimated as having chronic HCV infection.4 In developed countries, transmission of HCV in children is mainly through the mother at birth (perinatal transmission).5 HCV increases the risk of liver-related death by 26 times when acquired during childhood.5