Susceptibility to hepatitis is highest in the third to fifth decade of life in individuals belonging to India

As per a report by WHO, an astonishing 95% of hepatitis patients are not aware of their condition

Hepatitis, CORE Diagnostics, Fatty Liver, Fibrosis, The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Liver Function Test, Dr Shivani Sharma

CORE Diagnostics, an NABL-accredited clinical laboratory based in Gurgaon, recently presented an internal study on Hepatitis using data from patients tested over a span of one year. Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver leading to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. This study was conducted with the objective of raising awareness regarding the disease on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day.

According to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Government of NCT of Delhi, currently, approximately 5.2 crore people are suffering from Hepatitis B and C. Overall, 1.5 lakh people die annually due to this disease. Hepatitis B and C are transmitted via exposure to infected blood, with mother-to-child transmission as one of the most common causes.

Speaking about the study and the prevalence of hepatitis in India, Dr Shivani Sharma, Vice President, Pathology Services, CORE Diagnostics, said, “The major challenges in the fight against hepatitis are the lack of awareness, misconceptions and social stigma attached with the disease. Our study showcases the high prevalence of the disease and the most vulnerable age groups."

As per a report by WHO, an astonishing 95% of hepatitis patients are not aware of their condition. "While the disease can be treated, early diagnosis is the key for the treatment to be fully effective. There’s a dire need of educating the masses about the various diagnostics options available as symptoms may not appear for many years. We, at CORE Diagnostics, are committed to do our bit in eradicating hepatitis from the country through high-end testing,” added Dr Sharma.

As part of the study, over 7500 tests conducted in the past one year were analysed. Approximately, 60 percent of the tested patients were found to be positive for hepatitis, indicating a high prevalence of the disease. Although a higher number of men (65 percent) came in for hepatitis tests, an approximately equal percentage of men and women were found to be positive - 59 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

Another critical observation is the number of young adults falling prey to the disease. Close to 40 percent patients that tested positive for hepatitis were from the age group of 19-30 years. Patients in the age category of 31-55 years were found to be the most vulnerable with close to 45 percent testing positive for the disease.

CORE Diagnostics provides a range of hepatitis lab tests like Liver Function Test (LFT) and Serologic testing for Hepatitis A, B, C and D. In addition to this, molecular testing options are also available including few tests that are offered by CORE Diagnostics like Quantitative HBV DNA and HCV RNA testing by RT-PCR and Liver biopsy with special stains that is considered to be the gold standard test for diagnosis.