Of the 4773 participants, 93% had been tested at least once for
hepatitis C RNA (which identifies current infection). A fifth (19%) of
all participants were RNA positive at the time of analysis, with
prevalence highest in Eastern (34%) and Central-Eastern Europe (30%).
an estimated 4300 people who had ever been chronically infected with
hepatitis C, 73% started treatment, 71% completed treatment, 69% had
sufficient follow-up to allow for an assessment of their treatment
outcomes, and 56% were cured of hepatitis C.
proportion starting treatment was in Central-Western Europe (85%) and
the lowest in Eastern Europe (48%). Cure rates ranged from 72% in
Central-Western Europe to 28% in Eastern Europe – way below the WHO 80%
Looking for variability within regions, no significant
differences were seen for testing, except for within Eastern Europe,
where it ranged from 51% in Belarus to 100% in Georgia.
regards to treatment, substantial intra-regional differences were
observed in Central-Western and Eastern Europe. For example, in the
former region, rates of follow-up RNA measurements after completing
treatment and of cure were significantly lower in Belgium than in other
countries. Meanwhile, in the east, whereas close to 100% of those
estimated to have chronic hepatitis C in Estonia, Georgia and Lithuania
had been diagnosed as such, this was the case for only 52% in Belarus
and 64% in Ukraine.
In most Eastern European countries, the cure
rate was below 40% (as low as 11% in Belarus). In Southern Europe, it
ranged from 66% in Israel to 79% in Portugal. In the North, the UK had
both the highest rate of starting treatment (86%) and of cure (73%).
Perhaps surprisingly, the lowest cure rate in the region was in Denmark
Over 70% of chronically infected people were cured in seven
out of the 21 countries reporting on this metric, except for Austria
where this proportion exceeded 80%.