• Increased incidence of autoimmune hepatitis is associated with wider use of biological drugs.

      Valgeirsson, Kjartan B; Hreinsson, Jóhann P; Björnsson, Einar S; 1 Department of Internal Medicine, National University Hospital of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. 2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. (Wiley, 2019-08-22)
      BACKGROUND & AIMS: Population-based studies on the epidemiology of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) are scarce. Drug-induced AIH (DIAIH) is increasingly recognized in association with immunomodulatory therapy. We aimed to determine the incidence, prevalence and natural history of AIH in a population-based setting. METHODS: We collected data of new diagnosis of AIH in Iceland from 2006 to 2015. Cases were identified through search of diagnostic codes and text search for AIH within electronical medical records of all hospitals in Iceland and through records of smooth muscle antibodies (SMA) test results by the only laboratory in the country analyzing SMA. Patients were included in the final analysis if they received the clinical diagnosis of AIH or were started on immunosuppressive therapy. RESULTS: The mean annual incidence of AIH in Iceland was 2.2 cases per 100 000 inhabitants. Point prevalence on 31 December 2015 was 27/100 000. The median age at diagnosis was 56 years and 86% of patients were of female gender. DIAIH was suspected in 13 of 71 patients (18%) of which eight cases were related to infliximab. Immunosuppressive treatment was started in all but two patients. At the end of follow-up (median 4.8 years) 66 of 71 (93%) patients were alive. CONCLUSION: The incidence and prevalence rates of AIH in Iceland are the highest reported so far in a population-based setting. Higher incidence can partly be explained by the increasing use of biological drugs. Immunosuppressive therapy was very effective in achieving remission and prognosis was favorable.
    • Innovative strategies for the elimination of viral hepatitis at a national level: A country case series.

      Schröeder, Sophia E; Pedrana, Alisa; Scott, Nick; Wilson, David; Kuschel, Christian; Aufegger, Lisa; Atun, Rifat; Baptista-Leite, Ricardo; Butsashvili, Maia; El-Sayed, Manal; et al. (Wiley, 2019-10)
      Viral hepatitis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, but has long been neglected by national and international policymakers. Recent modelling studies suggest that investing in the global elimination of viral hepatitis is feasible and cost-effective. In 2016, all 194 member states of the World Health Organization endorsed the goal to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030, but complex systemic and social realities hamper implementation efforts. This paper presents eight case studies from a diverse range of countries that have invested in responses to viral hepatitis and adopted innovative approaches to tackle their respective epidemics. Based on an investment framework developed to build a global investment case for the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030, national activities and key enablers are highlighted that showcase the feasibility and impact of concerted hepatitis responses across a range of settings, with different levels of available resources and infrastructural development. These case studies demonstrate the utility of taking a multipronged, public health approach to: (a) evidence-gathering and planning; (b) implementation; and (c) integration of viral hepatitis services into the Agenda for Sustainable Development. They provide models for planning, investment and implementation strategies for other countries facing similar challenges and resource constraints.