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Hepatitis C liver deaths warning in UK
 
 
  (UKPA) - 6 hours ago
 
Hepatitis C is contributing to a huge rise in the number of people dying from liver disease, MPs have warned.
 
There has been a 60% increase in deaths from liver disease over the past decade but patient services in England's hospitals are poor, they said. Liver disease is the fifth biggest killer after heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung disorders, and the number of deaths is rising by about 8% per year.
 
Liver disease killed more than 10,000 people in the UK in 2008, including from causes such as alcoholism, but hepatitis C is a growing contributory factor, according to MPs.
 
The report, from the All-Party Parliamentary Hepatology Group (APPHG), said hepatitis C's exact contribution to rising mortality was difficult to calculate but was certainly "underestimated" because so few people are diagnosed.
 
Many of the 250,000 to 466,000 people living with hepatitis C in the UK currently have no idea they have the disease because it can remain symptomless for many years.
 
Famous sufferers include Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick, who caught the virus from a blood transfusion she received during the birth of her daughter, actress Pamela Anderson, guitarist Keith Richards and singers Marianne Faithfull and Natalie Cole.
 
Anyone given a blood transfusion before September 1991 or blood products before 1986 could be at risk of infection, and a major route of transmission is people sharing needles for injecting drugs.
 
Less common ways of passing on the virus include from mother to child before or during birth, unprotected sex and having medical and dental treatment abroad.
 
People having tattoos, ear or body piercing, acupuncture, electrolysis and semi-permanent make-up are also at risk if non-sterile equipment is used.
 
 
 
 
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