Etiology of newly-diagnosed cases of chronic liver disease in Southern Italy: results of a prospective multicentric study

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Antonio Ascione *
Mario Masarone
Giovanni Tritto
Carmine Coppola
Cristina Mascolo
Marcello Persico
Giovanbattista Forte
Luca Fontanella
Massimo De Luca
Giovan Giuseppe Di Costanzo
the SCIROCCO Study Group
(*) Corresponding Author:
Antonio Ascione | ascio@tin.it

Abstract

The pattern of liver diseases has radically changed in our country over the last few decades. We prospectively collected data on the newly-diagnosed cases of chronic liver diseases in a region of southern Italy after about a decade from the last epidemiological study. We conducted a multicentric prospective study that enrolled 631 patients from 21 Liver Centers of the Campania region (Southern Italy) at their first hospital admission or at their first outpatient visit. In our cohort of 631 patients (367 males, 263 females), 397 (62.9%) were hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive, 75 (11.9%) were hepatitis B virus (HBV) positive, 8 (1.3%) were co-infected by HBV and HCV, 73 (11.6%) had an alcoholic liver disease and 64 (10.1%) had a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. HBV infection was present in young people with a higher-than-expected prevalence, despite the vaccination program which should have involved this population. HCV chronic hepatitis still remains the most common cause of liver disease in our region. HBV infection still continues to represent a health problem in young people, despite the vaccination program.

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