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Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2008;22(6):991-1008. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2008.11.002.

Chronic viral hepatitis as a public health issue in the world.

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  • 1World Health Organization (WHO), HSE/EPR/BDP, Genève, Switzerland.


This article will focus on the impact caused by chronic viral hepatitis B and C globally and will discuss public health measures that have to be implemented in order to prevent and control these diseases. Chronic viral hepatitis is a major global public health problem, an important cause of morbidity and mortality from sequelae which include chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. Being a 'silent' disease, the contribution of chronic hepatitis to global morbidity and mortality is generally underestimated. Hepatitis B and C prevention and control should seek to reduce both the incidence of new infections and the risk of chronic liver disease. A comprehensive public health prevention programme should include the prevention and detection of HBV and HCV infections, the diagnosis and control of viral hepatitis related chronic liver disease, conducting surveillance and monitoring the effectiveness of prevention activities, and setting up a research agenda.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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