The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) revealed on April 11 at the International Liver CongressTM 2014 that viral hepatitis is more deadly across European Union countries than HIV/AIDS.
The study showed that in 2010, 10 times more deaths due to viral hepatitis occurred than those than those tied to HIV. Approximately 90,000 deaths were attributed to Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in 2010.
"GBD 2010 is making a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community," European Association for the Study of the Liver Vice-Secretary Laurent Castera said. "Although HIV/AIDS undeniably remains a key global health priority, the higher mortality from viral hepatitis than from HIV/AIDS in the EU means that hepatitis B and C must clearly now be counted among the top global and local priorities for health."
Castera said more resources are needed to study and treat hepatitis, which is a preventable disease.
The GBD 2010 is a systematic effort to examine distribution and causes of major diseases, injuries and health risk factors. Through the study, information on approximately 291 diseases and injuries and 1,160 sequelae to identify causes of human death has been collected and organized.
Country and regional causes of death linked with HBV, HCV and HIV/AIDS between 1990 and 2010 were compared regionally and globally. Deaths from the three diseases increased during the timeframe, but HIV-related deaths decreased by more than half after the late 1990s in the EU.
"This goes some way to explaining why mortality from viral hepatitis does not appear to be higher than that of HIV/AIDS in other areas of Europe outside of the EU," Castera said.