Hepatitis C: data on hepatitis C

Health Protection Scotland estimates that 50,000 persons (around 1% of Scotland's population) have been infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Approximately, one-third of infected persons in Scotland reside in Greater Glasgow, one-third in Lothian, Grampian and Tayside, and one-third in the other health board areas. Two-thirds of infected persons are male and the great majority will be aged less than 50 years.

Of the 50,000 persons living with HCV in Scotland, 37,100 are likely to be HCV carriers (i.e. chronically infected with HCV). Approximately 20,300 (55%) of these were estimated to have been diagnosed with hepatitis C by the end of 2013 leaving an estimated 16,800 (45%) undiagnosed.

In 2015, 1,821 persons were reported to be hepatitis C antibody-positive (i.e. new cases) (see Table 1) which is the lowest recorded since 2009.

Table 1: Persons in Scotland reported to be hepatitis C antibody positive; Number and rate/100,000 population by NHS board and year of earliest positive specimen to 31 December 2015

NHS Board

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Ayrshire & Arran

Number

143

175

146

135

188

150

128

Rate per 100,000

38.9

47.7

39.1

36.2

50.5

40.4

34.5

Borders

Number

24

20

23

28

32

27

19

Rate / 100,000

21.3

17.7

20.2

24.6

28.1

23.7

16.7

Dumfries & Galloway

Number

49

53

35

38

35

30

30

Rate / 100,000

33.0

35.8

23.1

25.2

23.3

20.0

20.0

Fife

Number

54

49

31

65

98

105

100

Rate / 100,000

14.9

13.4

8.5

17.7

26.7

28.6

27.2

Forth Valley

Number

97

101

131

139

125

113

122

Rate / 100,000

33.3

34.4

43.9

46.5

41.7

37.6

40.3

Grampian

Number

202

162

253

161

169

178

135

Rate / 100,000

37.1

29.4

44.4

28.1

29.2

30.5

23.0

Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Number

794

809

777

585

592

657

593

Rate / 100,000

66.2

37.2

64.0

48.1

52.0

57.5

51.6

Highland

Number

77

48

58

65

80

88

68

Rate / 100,000

24.8

15.4

18.0

20.3

24.9

27.4

21.2

Lanarkshire

Number

150

145

188

166

158

150

121

Rate / 100,000

26.7

25.8

32.8

29.0

24.2

23.0

18.5

Lothian

Number

186

261

306

245

232

317

307

Rate / 100,000

22.5

31.2

36.6

29.0

27.3

36.9

35.4

Tayside

Number

179

226

272

224

225

204

192

Rate / 100,000

44.8

56.1

66.3

54.4

54.6

49.3

46.3

Island Boards

Number

5

4

16

6

7

5

6

Scotland

Number

1,960

2,053

2,236

1,857

1,941

2,024

1,821

Rate / 100,000

37.7

39.3

42.2

34.9

36.4

37.8

33.9

These are the NHS boards based on the boundaries as at 1 April 2014.

Source

Note: rates per 100,000 are not published for the Island boards.

An article by Hutchinson and colleagues published in the Scottish Medical Journal in 2006 provides a review of the epidemiological data and public health challenges associated with HCV infection in Scotland.

Please note: If you require the most up-to-date data available, please check the data sources directly as new data may have been published since these data pages were last updated. Although we endeavour to ensure that the data pages are kept up-to-date, there may be a time lag between new data being published and the relevant ScotPHO web pages being updated.

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