HC Deb 09 April 2003 vol 403 cc318-9W
Mr. Havard

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the UK in the last five years have died from(a) hepatitis C, (b) HIV and AIDS and (c) vCJD; and how many of them were blood donors. [103980]

Ms Blears

Information on the number of deaths from hepatitis C, collected by the Office for National Statistics, is shown in column A of the following table. It is not known how many of these individuals were blood donors. Every unit of blood collected by the United Kingdom Blood Services (UKBS) has been tested for hepatitis C since 1991.

The figures shown in column B are the number of deaths in the United Kingdom in HIV-infected individuals with or without reported AIDS. Numbers for recent years will rise as further reports are received. The Health Protection Agency, formerly the Public Health Laboratory Service, collates reports on HIV and AIDS diagnoses and deaths in HIV-infected individuals.

Column C shows the number of deaths in England and Wales of HIV-infected individuals whose infection was identified as a result of donating blood. A positive HIV test will mean that the donated blood is not used. All donated blood has been tested for HIV since 1988. The chance of being infected with HIV through blood donations is currently less than one in 10 million.

The National CJD Surveillance Unit collects information on the number of people who have died from vCJD. The UKBS have traced how many were blood donors. These figures are shown in columns E and F.

where several other factors (e.g. alcohol, other blood-borne viruses) contributed to fatal chronic liver disease, the certifying doctor may judge that one of the other factors is more important.

deaths with an underlying cause of primary liver cancer are not included, even if certified as being the result of hepatitis C infection. This is because international coding rules in use at this time do not accept cancers being due to infections, except in the case of HIV/AIDS.

2 The underlying cause of death is the disease or condition that initiates the train of morbid events leading directly to death.

3 For the years 1997 to 2000, selected using a combination of underlying cause codes 070.4–070.5 from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) and the presence of text referring to hepatitis C on the death certificate. For the year 2001 underlying cause codes B17.1 and B18.2 from the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) were used.

4 Information not yet available.

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