Over 13 million adults are living with hepatitis B and 15 million
with hepatitis C in the WHO European Region – indicating a huge burden
of treatment and care. New estimates published in an article on 30 May
2013 by WHO/Europe, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
and Public Health England suggest that almost one in fifty adults is
infected with hepatitis B and a similar proportion of people have
chronic hepatitis C.
Most of those infected in the European Region live in eastern
European and central Asian countries: 66% of those with hepatitis B and
64% of those with hepatitis C.
Higher rates of hepatitis among vulnerable groups
People who inject drugs are the most affected (15% for hepatitis B
and 44% for hepatitis C), but infection is also common in other
vulnerable population groups such as men who have sex with men (8.7% and
4.2%, respectively), and sex workers (3.3% and 11%, respectively). By
comparison, rates in the general population of countries in the European
Region outside the European Union and European Free Trade Association
are 3.8% for hepatitis B and 2.3 % for hepatitis C.
Viral hepatitis is recognized as a global public health problem and a
World Health Assembly resolution in 2010 called on Member States to
take urgent action to strengthen prevention and control measures.
Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
Labels: epidemiology, Europe, HBV, HCV, WHO