D'Arcy Little, MD, CCFP, Lecturer and Academic Fellow, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto; Director of Medical Education, York Community Services; 2002 Royal Canadian Legion Scholar in Care of the Elderly, Toronto, ON.
Viral hepatitis is a major cause of acute and chronic liver disease worldwide. This article will review the epidemiology, etiology, presentation, diagnosis, management and prevention of acute viral hepatitis (Types A, B and C), with specific reference to the elderly population. Both similarities and differences between management in the elderly and the general population will be detailed. A cost-effective approach to diagnosis will also be formulated.
Key words: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, acute viral hepatitis, elderly.