Hepatitis C epidemiology in Belgium
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Acta gastro-enterologica belgica. - Bruxelles, 1946 - 1995
, p. 277-279
University of Antwerp
Background : The burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is significant and is increasing with the aging population. The results of a modeling study that included Belgium, along with many other countries, was published in April 2014. An in depth discussion surrounding the epidemiology of HCV in Belgium will be presented here. Methods : A systematic literature review was conducted to assess the historical and current clinical burden of HCV in Belgium. Two expert panels were convened to discuss the strengths and limitations surrounding the available data and to generate consensus regarding the best estimates for total number of HCV cases, number of cases diagnosed, and the number of patients treated and cured, including potential HCV control strategies. Results : Although no national studies exist, there were an estimated 70,000 (10,000-91,000) viremic HCV infections in 1994. By 2010 there were an estimated 22,900 individuals diagnosed with viremic HCV, and in 2011 approximately 710 patients were treated annually. An estimated 13% of liver transplants were attributable to HCV in 2011. Genotype 1 predominated (59%), followed by genotypes 3 (19%) and 4 (14%). Conclusions : Estimates of HCV prevalence, diagnosed cases and liver transplants due to HCV were available through published studies. However these publications were subject to bias and were occasionally outdated. Improved estimates of HCV prevalence would be useful for informing treatment, prevention and policy efforts in Belgium.