The growing contribution of hepatitis C virus infection to liver-related mortality in Scotland

S. A. McDonald, S. J. Hutchinson, S. M. Bird, C. Robertson, P. R. Mills, L. Graham, J. F. Dillon, D. J. Goldberg

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    The large number of individuals in Scotland who became infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the 1970s and 1980s leads us to expect liver-related morbidity and mortality to increase in the coming years. We investigated the contribution of HCV to liver-related mortality in the period January 1991 to June 2006. The study population consisted of 26,861 individuals whose death record mentioned a liver-related cause (underlying or contributing). Record-linkage to the national HCV Diagnosis database supplied HCV-diagnosed status for the study population. The proportion diagnosed with HCV among people dying from a liver-related cause rose from 2.8% (1995-1997) to 4.4% (2004-June 2006); the largest increase occurred in those aged 35-44 years at death (7% to 17%). Among all deaths from a liver-related cause, an HCV-positive diagnosis was more likely in those who died in 2001 or later than those who died in 1995-1997 (2001-2003: odds ratio=1.4, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-1.7; 2004-June 2006: 1.6, 1.3-2.0), and in those who died at under 55 compared with at least 55 years of age. HCV infection represents a significant, growing, public health burden in Scotland in terms of early deaths from liver disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number19562
    Pages (from-to)10-15
    Number of pages6
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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