Wednesday March 20, 2019

The World Looks Forward To Eradication Of Hepatitis C By 2030

Offering direct-acting antivirals to all patients at the time of diagnosis could prevent 640,000 deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis by 2030

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the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
The team found that implementing comprehensive blood safety and infection control measures was estimated to reduce the number of new infections in 2030 by 58 per cent.

Improvements in screening, prevention and treatment particularly in high-burden countries, such as India, China and Pakistan, can avert 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths globally by 2030.

Globally, it is estimated that 71 million individuals are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus, that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.

The virus was also responsible for over 475,000 deaths in 2015.

Viral hepatitis
World Health Organization poster for Hepatitis Campaign. VOA

To achieve the big reductions, there is need to implement comprehensive blood safety and infection control measures, extend harm reduction services (such as opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe programmes) and replace older treatments with direct-acting antivirals in all countries.

Moreover, adding screening to these interventions can help diagnose 90 per cent of people with hepatitis C and offer treatment by 2030, according to the study published in The Lancet journal.

The estimates equal to an 80 per cent reduction in incidence and a 60 per cent reduction in deaths as compared to 2015.

Injection and medicines
Hepatitis are the commonly transmitted hepatotropic viruses transmitted due to poor hygiene, contaminated food and drinking water, poor sanitation, Pixabay

But, it narrowly misses the elimination targets set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) — to reduce mortality by 65 per cent — and would instead be attained by 2032, the researchers said.

“Even though it narrowly falls short of the WHO targets for 2030, the impact our estimates suggest would be a tremendous stride forwards,” said lead author Professor Alastair Heffernan, from UK’s Imperial College London.

The team found that implementing comprehensive blood safety and infection control measures was estimated to reduce the number of new infections in 2030 by 58 per cent.

Hepatitis C Blood Virus [HCV]. Photo Credit: michelsonmedical.org
Extending harm reduction services to 40 per cent of people who inject drugs could reduce the number of new infections by a further 7 percentage points.

Together, this would prevent 14.1 million new infections by 2030.

But, offering direct-acting antivirals to all patients at the time of diagnosis could prevent 640,000 deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis by 2030, the researchers noted.

Also Read: Major Breakthrough Made In The Treatment Of Ebola Virus

“Achieving such reductions requires a massive screening programme and demands a rapid increase in new treatment courses in the short term — namely, 51.8 million courses of direct-acting antivirals by 2030,” Heffernan said. (IANS)

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Amazing Fact! Your Genes Determine Your Quality of Sleep

"Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep," Dashti added.

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This was comparable to other well-recognised factors that influenced sleep duration. Pixabay

Experiencing problems like insomnia or hypersomnia could be genetic, say researchers who identified 76 new gene regions associated with the time a person sleeps.

It is well known that regularly getting adequate sleep — 7 to 8 hours per night — is important for health, and both insufficient sleep — 6 or fewer hours — and excessive sleep — 9 hours or more — have been linked to significant health problems.

Family studies have suggested that 10 to 40 per cent of variation in sleep duration may be inherited, and previous genetic studies have associated variants in two gene regions with the sleep duration.

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“Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep,” Dashti added. Pixabay

The study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, US, analysed genetic data from more than 446,000 participants, who self-reported the amount of sleep they typically received.

The study identified 78 gene regions — including the two previously identified — as associated with sleep duration.

While carrying a single gene variant influenced the average amount of sleep by only a minute, participants carrying the largest number of duration-increasing variants reported an average of 22 more minutes of sleep, compared with those with the fewest.

This was comparable to other well-recognised factors that influenced sleep duration.

 

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Family studies have suggested that 10 to 40 per cent of variation in sleep duration may be inherited, and previous genetic studies have associated variants in two gene regions with the sleep duration. Pixabay

“While we spend about a third of our life asleep, we have little knowledge of the specific genes and pathways that regulate the amount of sleep people get,” said Hassan Saeed Dashti from MGH.

“Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep,” Dashti added.

The study, published in Nature Communications journal, also found shared genetic links between both short and long sleep duration.

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It also found factors such as higher levels of body fat, depression symptoms and fewer years of schooling, implying negative effects from both too little and too much sleep.

While short sleep duration was genetically linked with insomnia and smoking, long sleep duration was linked with ailments such as schizophrenia, Type-2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. (IANS)