Hep C baby boomers demand liver transplants


December 7, 2012
Health, Uncategorized

New research reveals that the greatest demand for liver transplantation due to hepatitis C (HCV)-related liver disease occurs among Americans born between 1941 and 1960.

Findings in the December issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), suggest that continuing increased demand for transplantation is driven by the development of liver cancer in baby boomers with HCV, but that the demand may decrease as patients born in this time period continue to grow older.

Hep C baby boomers demand liver transplantsHCV is the most common blood-borne infection and cause of liver disease requiring transplantation in the U.S., chronically infecting more than one percent of Americans. Previous studies show that among patients living with chronic HCV, 10% to 20% will develop cirrhosis and up to 5% will progress to liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma; HCC). Further evidence implicates HCV as the primary risk factor for developing HCC in up to 47% of cases of patients with HCC.

The peak U.S. HCV prevalence of 4% occurred in those born in 1940 through 1965, who were 20 to 30 years of age during 1979 to 1989, when HCV infection risk was at its highest. As this population ages, Davis et al. project that between 2000 and 2030 cirrhosis in patients with HCV will increase two-fold, from 472,000 to 879,000. Moreover, Wise et al. suggests HCV-related deaths will increase in Americans 55 to 64 years of age by 2004.

“The dire projections in HCV complications spurred our investigation of age-specific trends in liver transplantation demand,” said lead author Dr. Scott Biggins with the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colo. For the present study, researchers identified all adult liver transplant candidates who were registered with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) between 1995 and 2010. Patients were then classified with the diagnosis of HCV, with or without HCC.

Results show there were 126,862 new candidates for first liver transplant registered with OPTN, with 41% of these having HCV. Candidates were categorized by birth year and found that the highest HCV frequency (in decreasing order) were those born in 1951-1955, 1956-1960, 1946-1950, and 1941-1945. These four birth groups represent 81% of all new liver transplant registrants with HCV.

Furthermore, findings indicate that between 2000 and 2010 there was a four-fold increase in new transplant candidates with HCV and HCC in the 1941 to 1960 birth cohorts. The authors anticipate an increase in the proportion of new registrants, 60 years and older, with HCV will have liver cancer.

“Over the coming decade the aging of those infected with HCV will challenge the transplant community to reconsider current treatment plans given the projected increase in liver transplantation demand, particularly from patients with HCV and liver cancer,” concludes Dr. Biggins. “With the aging of the population of patients with HCV, many of these patients may not be healthy enough for transplantation and the number of liver transplants in patients with HCV may decrease.”



Hep C baby boomers demand liver transplants

One Response to Hep C baby boomers demand liver transplants

  1. Margaret Dudley December 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Two companies have an effective 100% cure for Hepatitis C without interferon or ribavirin. But this cure is literally being withheld from millions by pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences because they are more concerned about profits than human lives!

    This cure is a combination Bristol-Myers Squibb’s drug daclatasvir and Gilead Science’s GS-7977 (sofosbuvir). When these two drugs were used together, 100 percent of Hepatitis C patients were cured. These results are amazing for the approximately 170 million people in the world with Hepatitis C. The problem is that Gilead Sciences is unwilling to work with Bristol-Myers. The cure exists while people continue to suffer and die.

    “The only appropriate motivation should be what is the best and fastest way to get cures, not what is best for the shareholders,”said Dr. Scott Friedman, chief of liver diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who was not involved in the trial.

    Dr. Douglas J. Manion, a senior vice president for Bristol-Myers, said his company was “keen” on working with Gilead but that “thus far, they have been unwilling to engage in that collaboration.”

    Quote from Dr. Paul Thuluvath – Wall Street Journal:

    “We had never, ever imagined—even in our wildest dreams—we could treat” hepatitis C so quickly, effectively and without serious side effects, said Paul Thuluvath, a doctor at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore who had six patients test the new treatment. “I think the pharmaceutical companies have a moral responsibility to work together and bring it to market instead of [following] their own vested interests.”

    Act NOW and sign the petition to insist Gilead Sciences work with Bristol-Myers on the Phase III drug trials necessary to get this cure to market.

    http://www.HepC-Cured.org

    More than 180,000 people have died since these results were released this past April and there is still no collaboration. How many more will die before Gilead Sciences starts putting human lives before profits???

    HCV Coalition for The Cure

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