Studies on chronic viral hepatitis and mortality have often been made on selected populations or in high-endemic countries.
Dr Ann-Sofi Duberg and colleagues from Sweden investigated the causes of death and the mortality rates in the nationwide cohorts of people chronically infected with Hepatitis B virus and/or Hepatitis C virus in Sweden, a low-endemic country.
|The standardized mortality ratios due to younger age were 12 with Hepatitis C virus|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
All notifications on chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus infection between 1990 and 2003 were linked to the Cause of Death Register.
The team assessed a total of 9,517 people with chronic Hepatitis B virus infection, and 34, 235 people with Hepatitis C virus infection over about 6 years.
The research team evaluated 1,601 people with chronic Hepatitis B virus-Hepatitis C virus co-infection, observed over about 8 years.
The team compared the mortality in the cohorts with age- and gender-specific mortality in the general population.
Standardized mortality ratios were calculated.
All-cause mortality was significantly increased.
Standardized mortality ratios were 2 for Hepatitis B virus, 6 for Hepatitis C virus, and 9 for Hepatitis B-Hepatitis C virus co-infection.
The team noted excess liver-related mortality in all cohorts.
The standardized mortality ratios for excess liver-related mortality were 22, 36 and 46, for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B-Hepatitis C co-infection, respectively.
The team found that in younger patients with Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B-Hepatitis C co-infection there was an increased mortality due to drug-related psychiatric diagnoses.
In these patients, the standardized mortality ratios were 21 and 28, respectively.
The standardized mortality ratios due external reasons in younger patients were 12 with Hepatitis C, and 11 Hepatitis B-Hepatitis C co-infection.
Dr Duberg's team concluded, "This study demonstrated an increased all-cause mortality, with a great excess mortality from liver disease, in all cohorts."
"In people with Hepatitis C virus infection the highest excess mortality in younger ages was from drug-related and external reasons."