Evolution of the burden of active hepatitis C virus infection in England from September 2015 to September 2016: a repeated cross-sectional analysis

BMJ Open. 2019 Aug 5;9(8):e029066. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029066.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of treatment with new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) on the prevalent hepatitis C virus (HCV) population in England.

Design: A repeated cross-sectional analysis.

Setting: Four secondary care hospitals in England.

Participants: Patients who, in 2015 and/or 2016, had chronic HCV infection and were alive were eligible, regardless of the type of HCV intervention received.

Outcome measures: Data including intravenous drug use (IVDU) status, HCV genotype, cirrhosis status, HCV treatment history, vital status and treatment outcomes were collected at two time points in 2015 and 2016 using electronic case report forms.

Results: There were 1605 and 1355 patients with active chronic HCV in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Between 2015 and 2016, the proportion of patients with current IVDU increased (10.3% vs 14.5%, respectively), while that of patients with cirrhosis (28.2% vs 22.4%) and treatment-experienced patients (31.2% vs 27.1%) decreased. Among patients whose treatment outcome was known by 2016, high cure rates were observed, with an overall sustained virological response rate of 93.2%. From 2015 to 2016, there was a progressive increase in the proportion of treated patients who were non-cirrhotic, with current IVDU and non-liver transplant recipients.

Conclusions: The characteristics of patients with HCV remaining in contact with specialised care evolved with a changing landscape of treatment and related health policy. With increasing access to DAAs in UK, high cure rates were achieved in the study cohort.

Keywords: health policy; public health; virology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology


  • Antiviral Agents