Hepatitis C. Virus Infection: Mechanism of Disease Progression
Annual rept. 1 Oct 2003-30 Sep 2004
TRUE RESEARCH FOUNDATION SAN ANTONIO TX
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An estimated 4 million individuals in the USA are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus. Annually 8,000 to 10,000 of these subjects will die of liver-related complications and approximately 1,000 will require liver transplantation. The United States military nave rates of HCV infection similar to the general US population 1.6. However, it is a younger population and its natural history of HCV infection has not been studied. Therefore, the clinical outcome of HCV-infected military subjects and risk factors contributing to disease progression are largely unknown. Such knowledge is essential for decisions regarding optimal management and prevention of the disease. This study focuses on active duty military subjects infected with HCV, who will be enrolled and observed prospectively over four years 48 months. Liver biopsies are to be performed at initiation if needed and at completion of study to observe for disease progression. Lab evaluation of virologic and biochemical indicators of the disease and detailed information about risk factors, and quality of life are collected by questionnaire every six months. Currently, 81 subjects have been enrolled and 71 subjects are being followed. It is too early to analyze the data in terms of disease progression and potential contributing factors to disease progression specific to this population, as no subjects have completed the study. Therefore, the data presented in this report will be confined to descriptive statistics of the sample to date.
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