Background: The endemicity of hepatitis delta virus infection in Italy has decreased in the last decades. Aim: To evaluate the current epidemiology of chronic delta infection in Italy and to compare the present findings with the corresponding figures from the previous studies. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 16 referral centres scattered all over the country in 2014. Results: Out of the 513 hepatitis B surface antigen-positive subjects enrolled, 61 (11.9%) were anti-delta positive, with a sex ratio (M/F) of 2.05. The majority (80.3%) of them was 50 years or older, while the proportion of subjects younger than 30 years of age was as low as 3.3%. No difference was detected by geographical area of residence. The presence of liver cirrhosis was diagnosed in 52.4% of cases. In comparison to previous studies, a further shift towards the oldest age groups and an increasing proportion of subjects having liver cirrhosis among all anti-delta-positive subjects are observed. Conclusions: Currently, hepatitis delta infection mostly affects old people who have an advanced but indolent liver disease, reflecting a survival effect. The defective hepatitis delta virus is near to disappear in the country, where it has been discovered in the second half of 70s.

Hepatitis delta infection in Italian patients: towards the end of the story?

Sagnelli, Evangelista;Sagnelli, Caterina;Brancaccio, Giuseppina;Gaeta, Giovanni Battista;
2016

Abstract

Background: The endemicity of hepatitis delta virus infection in Italy has decreased in the last decades. Aim: To evaluate the current epidemiology of chronic delta infection in Italy and to compare the present findings with the corresponding figures from the previous studies. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 16 referral centres scattered all over the country in 2014. Results: Out of the 513 hepatitis B surface antigen-positive subjects enrolled, 61 (11.9%) were anti-delta positive, with a sex ratio (M/F) of 2.05. The majority (80.3%) of them was 50 years or older, while the proportion of subjects younger than 30 years of age was as low as 3.3%. No difference was detected by geographical area of residence. The presence of liver cirrhosis was diagnosed in 52.4% of cases. In comparison to previous studies, a further shift towards the oldest age groups and an increasing proportion of subjects having liver cirrhosis among all anti-delta-positive subjects are observed. Conclusions: Currently, hepatitis delta infection mostly affects old people who have an advanced but indolent liver disease, reflecting a survival effect. The defective hepatitis delta virus is near to disappear in the country, where it has been discovered in the second half of 70s.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/364713
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