Hepatitis B and C in Europe: an update from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

GBD 2019 Europe Hepatitis B & C Collaborators

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Background: In 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the resolution to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. This study aims to provide an overview of the burdens of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Europe and their changes from 2010 to 2019 using estimates from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019. Methods: We used GBD 2019 estimates of the burden associated with HBV-related and HCV-related diseases: acute hepatitis, cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases, and liver cancer. We report total numbers and age-standardised rates per 100 000 for mortality, prevalence, incidence, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) from 2010 to 2019. For each HBV-related and HCV-related disease and each measure, we analysed temporal changes and percentage changes for the 2010–19 period. Findings: In 2019, across all age groups, there were an estimated 2·08 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1·66 to 2·54) incident cases of acute hepatitis B and 0·49 million (0·42 to 0·57) of hepatitis C in Europe. There were an estimated 8·24 million (7·56 to 8·88) prevalent cases of HBV-related cirrhosis and 11·87 million (9·77 to 14·41) of HCV-related cirrhosis, with 24·92 thousand (19·86 to 31·03) deaths due to HBV-related cirrhosis and 36·89 thousand (29·94 to 45·56) deaths due to HCV-related cirrhosis. Deaths were estimated at 9·00 thousand (6·88 to 11·62) due to HBV-related liver cancer and 23·07 thousand (18·95 to 27·31) due to HCV-related liver cancer. Between 2010 and 2019, the age-standardised incidence rate of acute hepatitis B decreased (–22·14% [95% UI –35·44 to –5·98]) as did its age-standardised mortality rate (–33·27% [–43·03 to –25·49]); the age-standardised prevalence rate (–20·60% [–22·09 to –19·10]) and mortality rate (–33·19% [–37·82 to –28·13]) of HBV-related cirrhosis also decreased in this time period. The age-standardised incidence rate of acute hepatitis C decreased by 3·24% (1·17 to 5·02) and its age-standardised mortality rate decreased by 35·73% (23·48 to 47·75) between 2010 and 2019; the age-standardised prevalence rate (–6·37% [–8·11 to –4·32]), incidence rate (–5·87% [–11·24 to –1·01]), and mortality rate (–11·11% [–16·54 to –5·53]) of HCV-related cirrhosis also decreased. No significant changes were observed in age-standardised rates of HBV-related and HCV-related liver cancer, although we observed a significant increase in numbers of cases of HCV-related liver cancer across all ages between 2010 and 2019 (16·41% [2·81 to 30·91] increase in prevalent cases). Substantial reductions in DALYs since 2010 were estimated for acute hepatitis B (–27·82% [–36·92 to –20·24]), acute hepatitis C (–27·07% [–15·97 to –39·34]), and HBV-related cirrhosis (–30·70% [–35·75 to –25·03]). A moderate reduction in DALYs was estimated for HCV-related cirrhosis (–6·19% [–0·19 to –12·57]). Only HCV-related liver cancer showed a significant increase in DALYs (10·37% [4·81–16·63]). Changes in age-standardised DALY rates closely resembled those observed for overall DALY counts, except for HCV-liver related cancer (–2·84% [–7·75 to 2·63]). Interpretation: Although decreases in some HBV-related and HCV-related diseases were estimated between 2010 and 2019, HBV-related and HCV-related diseases are still associated with a high burden, highlighting the need for more intensive and coordinated interventions within European countries to reach the goal of elimination by 2030. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e701-e716
JournalThe Lancet Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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