Elimination of chronic hepatitis C in lost to follow-up patients.

Wednesday 17 May 2023, 10:30 am
PhD student
M. van Dijk MSc.
prof. dr. J.P.H. Drenth

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called upon countries worldwide to eliminate hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection. Many patients, however, don’t receive treatment due to being lost to follow-up (LTFU) from care.

This thesis presents the results of a nationwide retrieval project (CELINE), which shows that retrieving LTFU HCV patients is feasible and worthwhile. Lower socioeconomic status, being institutionalized or imprisoned, and having a psychiatric diagnosis are associated with becoming LTFU. The mortality rate among LTFU people is higher than the rate among treated people, and the primary cause of death of LTFU people is more often external, psychiatric or substance abuse-related. Using a mathematical model, the Netherlands is predicted to reach the WHO elimination targets by 2030 if the annual number of diagnoses and treatments remains equal to those in 2019.

Marleen van Dijk obtained her medical degree at the Radboud University in 2018. Subsequently she started her PhD at the Gastroenterology and Hepatology department of the Radboud university medical centre. Hereafter, she worked at the Gastroenterology and Hepatology department of the Rijnstate Hospital. She has currently started her Gastroenterology residency in the Jeroen Bosch Hospital.