Hepatitis C Patients And Prevention

Hepatitis C patients at higher risk from other diseases

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Along with an emerging mantra of improved health via diet and exercise, another emphasis should now be added: Prevention, in this case, prevention of hepatitis C.

Researchers found patients with hepatitis C have a higher incidence of death from the additional illness.

"Unprotected sex, bodily fluid exchange causes hepatitis C infection."

Lead author of the study, Dr. Samer El-Kamary, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore reports that this study finding should show the importance of prevention in developing hepatitis C. 

Dr. El-Kamary said those with a high-risk of developing hepatitis C should take particular note. While hepatitis C may not be the cause of death, the overlay of hepatitis C with other serious illnesses produces a higher risk of death in those other diseases. El-Kamary also recommends emphasis of early diagnosis and improving access to care for those already infected with hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is transmitted through bodily fluid exchange. Prevention measures include condom use and insuring as best you can that tattoo tools are clean when getting tattoos. Also, don't share hypodermic needles, toothbrushes or razors.

Patients in this study included 203 people with chronic hepatitis C infection. Overall, 44 died but only 9 of those deaths were from liver-related diseases. The rest of the deaths were due to HIV infection, diabetes, cancer, heart disease an other causes.

Compared to individuals with the same additional illness who tested negative for hepatitis C, the patients with chronic hepatitis C infection had more than twice the risk of dying from both liver- and non-liver related causes.

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Review Date: 
June 11, 2011
Last Updated:
June 24, 2011