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Howdy all-
Since on the subject of factors of progession, HCV, and treatment or not,is being discussed, some points to consider.
This Quote below-
"Most people do not die from hepatitis C, they die with it. We should not forget though that HCV and complications from HCV DO kill about 10,000 people every year in the USA. We know that chronic infection occurs in 80 - 85% of infections, of those approximately 20 -25% develop cirrhosis and of those 4 - 5% develop liver cancer"

Well if you are one of these 10,000 people,I am quite sure what your answer would be for treatment,
now even the stastictics of 20-25 % developing Cirrhosis is scary enough, I am not tring to presuade
people into treatment, just points to ponder, as THanbey stated each individual is different and each case may differ.
This abstract was taken from hepcawareness.


In the world of medicine, the hepatitis C virus is a relative newbie. Discovered in the 1980's and named in the 90's there is still much more to learn about this elusive virus. One of the more baffling characteristics of HCV is that it progresses differently in different people. Considering this, researchers still know a fair amount about the virus and have discovered certain factors that could possibly effect the progression of the virus in relation to damage, cirrhosis and cancer is concerned but it is to early in the research stages to say defiantly if and how much influence these situations have.
We do know that HCV can go 20 - 40 years without causing noticeable symptoms in most people. We also know that sometimes the virus progresses very rapidly in others. We know that enzymes that serve as flags to problems may fluctuate back and forth from high numbers back to normal ranges. some never have high enzyme levels. We also know that hepatic swelling can fluctuate. These situations can make it difficult to determine a course of treatment but one thing is for sure, once the liver is damaged to the point of cirrhosis it is seldom reversible. This means it is important to try and stop the progression before cirrhosis occurs. another consideration is the fact that most of us have 80% more liver than we need. Of course, we don't want that much of our liver damaged but it does give some room to work with. Because the virus normally progresses at a slow rate, most people do not die from hepatitis C, they die with it. We should not forget though that HCV and complications from HCV do kill about 10,000 people every year in the USA. We know that chronic infection occurs in 80 - 85% of infections, of those approximately 20 -25% develop cirrhosis and of those 4 - 5% develop liver cancer. We also know that HCV is still the leading indicator for both liver transplants and hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).

Factors that may influence HCV progression:

Genotype:
There are six genotypes and many sub types. Starting with 1A, 1B, 2A and so forth. Genotype 1 is the most difficult to treat and causes the most damage in most cases. As the number increase for the genotype the easier it becomes to treat and often results in less damage. It must be noted that any genotype can cause severe damage. People may also develop several genotypes and subtypes as the virus is known to mutate. What we know so far are the noticeable trends.

Length of time of infection:
The amount of time in years seems to play a role in severity. The longer a person is infected the more faster the progression takes place. In other words, with time it doesn't slow down, it speeds up.

Age of the infected individual:
HCV infected children seem to have relatively few HCV related problems while people over the age of 50 with new infections have a greater risk of HCV rapidly progressing.

Alcohol use:
Alcohol may drastically increase the rate of progression. People infected simply should not drink alcohol.

Tobacco use:
Tobacco users have a greater risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma

Gender:
Males tend to have a more difficult time with HCV and a greater chance of not responding to treatment and relapses if the virus becomes undetectable.

Source of the virus:
The transmission mode of the virus may play a role. Those infected by way of blood transfusion, organ transplant or receiving blood products (all prior to screening days) may have a greater progression rate than IV drug users and needle sticks.

Co-infections:
HIV co-infection increases the risk of cirrhosis and speeds up the progression of the virus. Hepatitis B co-infection has a greater risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma.





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--Get Outdoors-Enjoy Life----Neil





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