Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

A review of the burden of hepatitis C virus infection in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan

  • Review Article
  • Published:
Hepatology International Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with substantial clinical and economic burden and is an important public health issue in Asia. The objective of this review was to characterize HCV epidemiology and related complications in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. A search of electronic databases and conference abstracts identified 71 potentially relevant articles. Of those, 55 were included in the epidemiology review and 9 in the review of HCV-related complications. HCV prevalence in the general population was 1.6 % in China, 0.6–0.9 % in Japan, 0.6–1.1 % in South Korea and 1.8–5.5 % in Taiwan. Prevalence was higher for injecting drug users (48–90 %) and those with human immunodeficiency virus coinfection (32–85 %) and was lower for blood donors (<1 %). Annual incidence of HCV in China was 6.01 per 100,000. HCV genotype 1b was associated with the highest incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Five-year survival for patients with liver cirrhosis was 73.8 %, decreasing to 39.2 % following liver transplantation; the majority of deaths were attributable to HCC. Limitations were that the majority of studies included in the epidemiology review were small, regional studies conducted in specific populations, and there was an absence of large population-based studies. Thus, estimates may not be representative of the epidemiology of HCV for each country. The prevalence HCV in China and HCV incidence in the Asian region remain largely unknown, and they are likely underestimated. Further epidemiologic and clinical data are needed to provide more precise estimates for use by public health agencies.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Lauer GM, Walker BD. Hepatitis C virus infection. N Engl J Med 2001;345:41–52

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Hanafiah KM, Groeger J, Flaxman AD, Wiersma ST. Global epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection: new estimates of age-specific antibody to HCV seroprevalence. Hepatol 2013;57:1333–1342

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Sievert W, Altraif I, Razavi HA, et al. A systematic review of hepatitis C virus epidemiology in Asia, Australia and Egypt. Liver Int 2011;31:61–80

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Yan Z, Fan K, Wang Y, et al. Changing pattern of clinical epidemiology on hepatitis C virus infection in Southwest China. Hepat Mon 2012;12:196–204

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Hu Y, Yu C, Chen B, Wang L. Implication of reported viral hepatitis incidence rate change in Hubei Province, China, between 2004–2010. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technol 2012;32:428–433

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Global Burden of Hepatitis C Working Group. J Clin Pharmacol 2004;44:20–29

  7. Li D, Long Y, Wang T, et al. Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection in highly endemic HBV areas in China. PLoS ONE 2013;8:1–6

    Google Scholar 

  8. Lu W-P, Lin G-X, Shi S, Dong J-H. Simultaneously high prevalences of hepatitis B and C virus infections in a population in Putian County, China. J Clin Microbiol 2012;50:2142–2144

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Katayama K, Matsuo J, Akita T, et al. Report of questionnaire survey about the rate of having hepatitis screening and the prevalence of hepatitis virus infection among the general population and the working population. Kanzo 2012;53:707–720

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Miyazaki T, Honda A, Ikegami T, et al. Hepatitis C virus infection causes hypolipidemia regardless of hepatic damage or nutritional state: an epidemiological survey of a large Japanese cohort. Hepatol Res 2011;41:530–541

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Kim DY, Kim IH, Jeong S-H, et al. A nationwide seroepidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection in South Korea. Liver Int 2013;33:586–594

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Chung SD, Keller JJ, Liang YC, Lin HC. Association between viral hepatitis and erectile dysfunction: a population-based case-control analysis. J Sex Med 2012;9:1295–1302

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Lee M-H, Yang H-I, Jen C-L, et al. Community and personal risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection: a survey of 23 820 residents in Taiwan in 1991–1992. Gut 2011;60:688–694

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Wu S, Wu F, Hong R, He J. Incidence analyses and space-time cluster detection of hepatitis C in Fujian Province of China from 2006 to 2010. PLoS ONE 2012;7:1–7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Dong R, Qiao X, Jia W, et al. HIV, HCV, and HBV co-infections in a rural area of Shanxi Province with a history of commercial blood donation. Biomed Environ Sci 2011;24:207–213

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Tanaka J, Koyama T, Mizui M, et al. Total numbers of undiagnosed carriers of hepatitis C and B viruses in Japan estimated by age- and area-specific prevalence on the national scale. Intervirol 2011;54:185–195

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Yuan J, Yang Y, Han F, et al. Quality control measures for lowering the seroconversion rate of hemodialysis patients with hepatitis B or C virus. Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int 2012;11:302–306

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Wang X, Norris JL, Liu Y, et al. Health-related attitudes and risk factors for sexually transmitted infections of Chinese women who have sex with women. Chin Med J 2012;125:2819–2825

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Fu Y, Qin W, Cao H, et al. HCV 6a prevalence in Guangdong province had the origin from Vietnam and recent dissemination to other regions of China: phylogeographic analyses. PLoS ONE 2012;7:1–11

    Google Scholar 

  20. Wu N, Ge Q, Feng Q, et al. High prevalence of Hepatitis C virus among injection drug users in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China. Indian J Virol 2011;22:77–83

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Du J, Wang Z, Xie B, Zhao M. Hepatitis C knowledge and alcohol consumption among patients receiving methadone maintenance treatment in Shanghai. China. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 2012;38:228–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Wang X, Tan L, Li Y, et al. HCV and HIV infection among heroin addicts in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) and not in MMT in Changsha and Wuhan, China. PLoS ONE 2012;7:1–5

    Google Scholar 

  23. Hser Y, Du J, Li J, et al. Hepatitis C among methadone maintenance treatment patients in Shanghai and Kunming, China. J Public Health 2012;34:24–31

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. He N, Chen L, Lin HJ, et al. Multiple viral coinfections among HIV/AIDS patients in China. Biosci Trend 2011;5:1–9

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Yan YX, Gao YQ, Sun X, et al. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus infections in HIV-positive Chinese patients. Epidemiol Infect 2011;139:354–360

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Pan X, Zhu Y, Wang Q, et al. Prevalence of HIV, syphilis, HCV and their high risk behaviours among migrant workers in Eastern China. PLoS ONE 2013;8:1–9

    Google Scholar 

  27. Yan J, Kanda T, Wu S, et al. Hepatitis A, B, C and E virus markers in Chinese residing in Tokyo, Japan. Hepatol Res 2012;42:974–981

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Nagao Y, Sata M. A retrospective case-control study of hepatitis C virus infection and oral lichen planus in Japan: association study with mutations in the core and NS5A region of hepatitis C virus. BMC Gastroenterol 2012;12:1–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Min J-A, Yoon Y, Lee HJ, et al. Prevalence and associated clinical characteristics of hepatitis B, C, and HIV infections among injecting drug users in Korea. J Med Virol 2013;85:575–582

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Kang J, Cho JH, Suh CW, et al. High prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections in Korean patients with hematopoietic malignancies. Ann Hematol 2011;90:159–164

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Tseng Y-T, Sun H-Y, Chang S-Y, et al. Seroprevalence of hepatitis virus infection in men who have sex with men aged 18–40 years in Taiwan. J Formos Med Assoc 2012;111:431–438

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Liao K-F, Lai S-W, Lin C-Y, et al. Diversity of hepatitis C virus genotypes among intravenous heroin users in Taiwan. Am J Med Sci 2011;341:110–112

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Hung C-C, Loh E-W, Hu T-M, et al. Prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in patients with chronic schizophrenia living in institutions. J Chin Med Assoc 2012;75:275–280

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Yu S-C, Lin C-W. Early-stage splenic diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is highly associated with hepatitis C virus infection. Kaohsiung J Med Sci 2013;29:150–156

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Rao H, Wei L, Lopez-Talavera JC, et al. Distribution and clinical correlates of viral and host genotypes in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014;29:545–553

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Wang C, Cai WP, Tucker J, et al. Hepatitis C Epidemiology in HCV Mono-infected and HIV/HCV Co-infected Subjects from Guangzhou, China. In 1st Asian conference on hepatitis B and C, HIV and influenza, 18–19 May, Beijing, China 2012

  37. Wang C. Epidemiology of HCV and HIV/HCV Infection in Guangzhou, China. Presentation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2013

  38. Lee MH, Yang HI, Lu SN, et al. Hepatitis C virus genotype 1b increases cumulative lifetime risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Int J Cancer 2014;135:1119–1126

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Yatsuji S, Hashimoto E, Tobari M, et al. Clinical features and outcomes of cirrhosis due to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis compared with cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis C. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2009;24:248–254

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. Kim ET, Kim LH, Lee JI, Chin HS. Retinopathy in hepatitis C patients due to combination therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Jpn J Ophthalmol 2009;53:598–602

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Huang JF, Chuang WL, Yu ML, et al. Hepatitis C virus infection and metabolic syndrome—a community-based study in an endemic area of Taiwan. Kaohsiung J Med Sci 2009;25:299–305

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Yotsuyanagi H, Kikuchi Y, Tsukada K, et al. Chronic hepatitis C in patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus in Japan: a retrospective multicenter analysis. Hepatol Res 2009;39:657–663

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  43. Lee M-H, Yang H-I, Chen C-J, et al. Long-term health outcomes of chronic hepatitis C patients: a review of findings from REVEAL-HCV cohort study. BioMed (Netherlands) 2012;2(3):99–107

  44. Hu Z, Zhou J, Wang H, et al. Survival in liver transplant recipients with hepatitis B- or hepatitis C-associated hepatocellular carcinoma: the Chinese experience from 1999 to 2010. PLoS ONE 2013;8:e61620

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Qin Q, Smith MK, Wang L, et al. Hepatitis C virus infection in China: an emerging public health issue. J Viral Hepat 2015;22(3):238–244

  46. World Health Organization, Guidelines Development Group. Guidelines for the Screening, Care and Treatment of Persons with Hepatitis C Infection. World Health Organization 2014 Accessed: 2014 Aug 20; Available at: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/hepatitis/hepatitis-c-guidelines/en/

  47. Lee MH, Yang HI, Yuan Y, et al. Epidemiology and natural history of hepatitis C virus infection. World J Gastroenterol 2014;20:9270–9280

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Shin A, Cho ER, Kim J, et al. Factors associated with awareness of infection status among chronic hepatitis B and C carriers in Korea. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18:1894–1898

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Compliance with ethical requirements and Conflict of interest

Heather Bennett, Nathalie Waser, Karissa Johnston, Jia-Horng Kao, Young-Suk Lim, Zhong-Ping Duan, Youn-Jae Lee, Lai Wei, Chien-Jen Chen, William Sievert, Yong Yuan and Hong Li declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nathalie Waser.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bennett, H., Waser, N., Johnston, K. et al. A review of the burden of hepatitis C virus infection in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Hepatol Int 9, 378–390 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12072-015-9629-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12072-015-9629-x

Keywords

Navigation