Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205.
In efforts to inform public health decision makers, the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors 2010 (GBD2010) Study aims to estimate the burden of disease using available parameters. This study was conducted to collect and analyze available prevalence data to be used for estimating hepatitis C burden of disease. In this systematic review, antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) seroprevalence data from 232 articles were pooled to estimate age-specific seroprevalence curves in 1990 and 2005, and to produce age-standardized prevalence estimates for each of 21 GBD regions using a model based meta-analysis. This review finds that globally, the prevalence and number of people with anti-HCV has increased from 2.3% (95% UI: 2.1-2.5%) to 2.8% (95% UI: 2.6-3.1%) and >122 million to >185 million between 1990 and 2005. Central and East Asia and North Africa/Middle East are estimated to have high prevalence (>3.5%); South and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Andean, Central, and Southern Latin America, Caribbean, Oceania, Australasia and Central, Eastern and Western Europe have moderate prevalence (1.5-3.5%); while Asia Pacific, Tropical Latin America, and North America have low prevalence (<1.5%). Conclusion: The high prevalence of global HCV infection necessitates renewed efforts in primary prevention, including vaccine development, as well as new approaches to secondary and tertiary prevention to reduce the burden of chronic liver disease and to improve survival of those who already have evidence of liver disease.