Hepatitis C: Know the facts

Hepatitis C: Know the facts

Hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases that affects 325 million people worldwide. Hepatitis C alone has been estimated to infect around 71 million people globally with either acute or chronic infection. Most individuals that have chronic infection will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.2, 3, 5, 6 In 2016, WHO estimated that approximately 399,000 people have died from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).1

 

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C infection occurs due to the inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis C virus.3

 

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Individuals infected with hepatitis C are usually unaware that they are infected as it occurs with minimal to no clinical symptoms and are non-specific in most cases.7

When symptoms are present, they include extreme fatigue, jaundice, vomiting, dark urine, pale-coloured stool, loss of appetite and abdominal pain.1

 

What causes Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis holds a great concern due to the burden of death it causes and its potential of causing an outbreak and epidemic spread.

Hepatitis C is mainly transmitted through parenteral contact with contaminated blood such as from infected mother to child at birth, through sharing medical equipment (i.e. needle and syringe) and personal items (i.e. razor and toothbrush) and less frequently through unprotected blood-to-blood sexual contact with an infected person.1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8

 

Who gets Hepatitis C?

Individuals at risk of hepatitis C are those in the healthcare profession, having multiple sexual partners and intravenous drug abusers.1, 8

Most cases are due to unknown origin which means an individual does not need to be included in a high-risk group in order to be infected with a hepatitis virus.

 

How is Hepatitis C diagnosed?

Since hepatitis C infection is usually asymptomatic, very few individuals are diagnosed and may have developed chronic hepatitis C infection which can lead to serious health problems including secondary to serious liver damage. Hence, it is important for an individual to do early screening to prevent the advancement of the disease.1, 3

Hepatitis C infection is diagnosed by testing for anti-hepatitis C virus antibodies with a serological test which identifies individuals that have been infected with the virus.

After an individual has been diagnosed with hepatitis C virus infection, an assessment of the degree of liver damage (fibrosis or cirrhosis) will be made through liver biopsy.1

The degree of liver damage is done to be used as a guide for making decisions for the management and treatment of the disease.1

Hepatitis C infection is preventable, treatable and curable. Most individuals affected either lack prevention, testing or treatment.1 Hence, early screening and detection is an important step to prevent the progression to chronic infection (cirrhosis or liver cancer) and to reduce liver-related morbidity and mortality.6

 

Source:

  1. Hepatitis C. (2017, July 9). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-c
  2. World Hepatitis Day 2019. (n.d.-a). World Health Organization. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-hepatitis-day/2019
  3. What is Viral Hepatitis? (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/abc/index.htm
  4. World Hepatitis Day — July 28th. (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/awareness/worldhepday.htm
  5. (İskender, G., Mert, D., Çeken, S., Bahçecitapar, M., Yenigün, A., & Ertek, M. (2020). Hepatitis C screening and referral for further investigation and treatment in a tertiary care hospital. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 14(06), 642-646.
  6. Guss, D., Sherigar, J., Rosen, P., & Mohanty, S. R. (2018). Diagnosis and management of hepatitis C infection in primary care settings. Journal of general internal medicine, 33(4), 551-557.
  7. Mohd Suan, M. A., Said, S. M., Lim, P. Y., Azman, A. Z. F., & Abu Hassan, M. R. (2019). Risk factors for hepatitis C infection among adult patients in Kedah state, Malaysia: A case–control study. PloS one, 14(10), e0224459.
  8. Ghany, M. G., Strader, D. B., Thomas, D. L., & Seeff, L. B. (2009). Diagnosis, management, and treatment of hepatitis C: an update. Hepatology, 49(4), 1335-1374.

COVID-19 & Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

COVID-19 & Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

NCD (Non Communicable Disease)

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behaviours factors.

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • physical inactivity
  • unhealthy diet
  • harmful use of alcohol
  • overweight/obesity

Who is at Risk?

People of all age groups, regions and countries are affected by NCDs. These conditions are often associated with older age groups, but evidence shows that 15 million of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur between the ages of 30 and 69 years.

NCD Statistics

  • Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.
  • Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.9 million people annually.
  • According to 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), about 2/3 of Malaysians have at least 1 of 3 NCDs.

Did you know?

! People with pre-existing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the COVID-19 virus.

! Risk of becoming severely ill increases with age

 

Tests offered for NCDs by Pantai Premier Pathology

NCD3 Profile, stands for Non-Communicable Disease (Diabetes, High Cholesterol & CV diseases) includes 4 main screenings:

Lipid Screening:

  • Total Cholesterol
  • HDL-Cholesterol
  • LDL- Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol/HDL Ratio
Diabetic Screening:

  • Fasting/Random blood glucose
  • Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1C)
Cardiac Screening:

  • Risk Stratification Cardiac Troponin I (RSTROPI)

Obesity Screening:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)

 

Reference: 

1) World Health Organization. (2018, June 1). A report on noncommunicable diseases. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases

2) Institute for Public Health (IPH) 2015. National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 (NHMS 2015). Vol. II: Non-Communicable Diseases, Risk Factors & Other Health Problems; 2015.

3) World Health Organization. (2020). COVID-19 and NCDs. Information Note. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Water is life

Water is life

Water helps our body to:

  • Keep temperature normal
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Protect spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

Our body needs more water when we are:

  • In hot climates
  • More physically active
  • Running a fever
  • Having diarrhea or vomiting

5 tips to help you drink more:

  1. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high-water content will add to your hydration.
  4. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
  5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.

 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Obesity in adult

Obesity in adult

Obesity is a complex condition characterized by excess body fat which resulted in excessive weight.

 

Causes of Obesity

There are many factors that can contribute to obesity;

  • Excessive food intake which high in fat and sugar which exceed the daily requirement
  • Lack of exercises and physical activities
  • Age, gender, genetics, internal diseases
  • Taking certain medications such as steroids.

 

Health Risk

Obesity can cause a serious health implication as it can increase the risk of someone getting various disease.

Obese person has a higher risk of getting diabetes, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, sleep disorder and breathing difficulties. They are also at moderate risk of getting stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, gout and arthritis.

 

Prevent Obesity

The best way to reduce obesity is to prevent it. These are things you can do to prevent obesity.

  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid high sugar and high fat diet
  • Take small amount of food at every meal
  • Drink enough water at least 8 glasses per day
  • Eat when you are hungry and stop before you full
  • Avoid taking heavy meal before sleep or late night
  • Limit amount of television viewing and substitute with exercise session.
  • Monitor you weight once a week

 

 

Source: Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) and WHO

Healthy eating guide on Hari Raya

Healthy eating guide on Hari Raya

  1. Eat small portions and adhere to the “quarter-quarter-half” plate rule
  2. Go low-calorie (eg. fruits) and less-fatty (eg. santan, oil) foods
  3. Choose high fibre food to prevent constipation
  4. Limit the intake of sweet and high-fat food like dodol
  5. Limit consumption of food high in salt like kerepek (eg. banana, tapioca crisps)
  6. Drink plain water instead of soda or sweet drinks
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