Hepatitis C hepatoma deaths rise by over 10 percent: study

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–The mortality rate of hepatoma derived from hepatitis B in Taiwan has reduced significantly, while the mortality rate of hepatoma derived from hepatitis C has more than 10 percent incremental growth, according to recent study from the 22nd conference of Asia Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) in Taiwan. Liver disease is identified as national disease in Taiwan. Traditionally people believe a hepatitis B patient has higher risk of getting liver cancer. Among the patients with hepatoma derived from hepatitis C, women have a higher rate than men. This leads to hepatitis C replacing hepatitis B as the primary basis for contracting hepatoma, said Yu Ming-lung, superintendent of Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital. When a hepatitis C patient gets early diagnosis and treatment, the recovery rate is higher than 70 percent. In the future there will be orally administered medicine incorporated with standard treatment.

The mortality rate of hepatoma derived from hepatitis C is 1.6 times of which derived from hepatitis B, with rates for women being twice of that for men, according to the study. Hepatitis B used to be prevalent in Taiwan, but since the initiation of national neonatal hepatitis B vaccination program in 1984, probability of hepatitis B infection has dropped significantly.

Meanwhile, the implementation of nationwide anti-viral treatment against chronic hepatitis B has made the probability of acquiring hepatoma and dying from the disease less likely every year. On the other hand, since there is no vaccine available for hepatitis C, the mortality rate as a result of hepatoma increased every year to 1.6 times of hepatitis B. This demonstrates that hepatitis C is going to be a more severe threat to public health in Taiwan. The mortality rate for women is twice as high as for men.