Hepatitis - Prognosis

The prognosis for various forms of hepatitis varies considerably. Most patients with hepatitis A recover completely within a few months. They become immune to HAV and will not contract the disease again. Up to three-quarters of all Americans over the age of fifty have been exposed to HAV.

About 90 percent of patients with hepatitis B will also recover completely. Among the remaining 10 percent, however, serious complications are likely to develop. These complications include cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. About 2 percent of all patients with hepatitis B become chronically ill with the disease.

The prognosis for patients with hepatitis C is slightly less promising. About 15 percent will develop cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Many more are likely to develop chronic hepatitis or some other liver-related disorder.

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