Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hepatitis C notes

There is supposed to be a new treatment for HepC, that only take three months and won't make you sicker than a dog.

If so, everyone will get it.

One of the problems was that population studies of WWII vets showed most of the cases were alive and well 40 years later, so why treat?
Other studies suggested ALL cases went on to a fatal cirrhosis. I never did figure it out...presumably there is a study on what's really true. But the reason I never got around to it was that most of the cases we picked up were so unreliable that they never kept the appointments for the liver biopsy to see if they should go on treatment, or take the medicine. So I think we treated 3 or 4 cases in all at our clinic.

A lot of alcoholics who died in their 30's actually had hepatitis b or c or a along with their alcoholic liver disease, which messes up the statistics.Now they have a new HepC test, right in time for the new middle class epidemic of heroin addiction.

A new cohort of young injection drug users acquiring HCV infection has been recognized nationwide, notably in suburban and rural areas 

translation: Now white suburban kids are getting it, not just minorities in the inner city (or in our case, on the reservations)

sounds helpful: but only if the new easier treatment regimen works and is quickly implemented in the community...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis C treatment isn't pretty, but the dark days of weekly injections, rough side effects and no guarantee of full recovery from the liver-damaging disease may soon be over, researchers report.
Two studies, both published in the Jan. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, involved giving various combinations of antiviral pill cocktails to patients with hepatitis C. Some had failed to respond to standard treatments, and some had not received treatment yet. Yet, the cocktails cleared the virus in both studies for between 93 percent and 98 percent of the patients.
These cocktails are game-changers for the illness, said Andrew Muir, director of gastroenterology and hepatology research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

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