Thursday June 20, 2019

Viral hepatitis Caused 1.34 mn Deaths Globally: Study

Viral hepatitis was found to be amongst the top ten leading global killers

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Viral hepatitis
World Health Organization poster for Hepatitis Campaign. VOA

London, Sep 16, 2017: Viral hepatitis with 1.34 million deaths globally has surpassed all chronic infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, according to a study by Global Burden of Disease.

The study reveals that in 2016, the total deaths caused by viral hepatitis, including liver cancer, acute cases, cirrhosis, hepatitis A, E, B, C and D account for 1.34 million globally, exceeding tuberculosis (1.2 million), HIV/AIDS (1 million) and malaria (719,000).

These staggering death rates occurred despite recent advances in hepatitis C medications that can cure most infections within three months and the availability of highly-effective vaccinations for hepatitis B.

“It’s outrageous, but not surprising, that the Global Burden of Disease Report found that deaths related to viral hepatitis have surpassed HIV, TB and malaria” said Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance — a not-for profit organisation based in London.

“This is largely due to a historic lack of political prioritisation coupled with an absent global funding mechanism,” Gore added, in the paper published in the journal the Lancet.

Further, viral hepatitis was found to be amongst the top ten leading global killers which include heart disease, road accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, amongst others.

Also Read: WHO Calls for stepped up action to Eliminate Hepatitis B and C by 2030 

If this trend has to be reversed, immediate action must be taken at both a regional and national level, said the report, while suggesting measures such as scaling up testing and diagnosis.

Viral hepatitis is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus and only 5 per cent of people living with the disease are aware of their conditions there are only few noticeable symptoms.

As a result, many people are either misdiagnosed or do not come forward for testing, increasing the chance of infecting others and missing the opportunity to access life-saving treatment.

Reducing hepatitis related deaths by 65 per cent by 2030 is a key component of the World Health Organization’s Global Hepatitis Strategy.

The strategy, which was adopted by 194 governments, sets out a list of key targets, which, if achieved, will eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. (IANS)

 

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Study: Postmenopausal Women with Breast Cancer are at Greater Risk of Heart Disease

"Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease," Pinkerton said

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breast cancer, heart disease
"Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease," Pinkerton said. Pixabay

Researchers have found that postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at greater risk of developing heart disease.

“Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and use of aromatase inhibitors, which lower estrogen,” said JoAnn Pinkerton, Professor at the University of Virginia.

The cardiovascular effects may occur more than five years after radiation exposure, with the risk persisting for up to 30 years. “Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease,” Pinkerton said.

Heart disease, breast cancer
For people without heart disease, taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes may increase the risk of severe brain bleeding. Pixabay

The goal of the study was to compare and evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer and women without breast cancer. For the findings, more than 90 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were compared with 192 postmenopausal women.

ALSO READ: Drug to Uplift Growth in Children Suffering from Dwarfism Shows Promise

The researchers found that postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer showed a markedly stronger association with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertriglyceridemia and abdominal obesity, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The risk of cardiovascular mortality similarly increased to match death rates from cancer itself. “Women should schedule a cardiology consultation when breast cancer is diagnosed and continue with ongoing follow-up after cancer treatments are completed,” she added. The study was published in the Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society. (IANS)