HepVu — an interactive online resource designed to visualize data on the U.S. hepatitis C epidemic — announced the release of new interactive maps that provide state-level estimates of HCV infections, according to a press release and online presentation.
The data come from a study recently published in JAMA Network Open and revealed an estimated 2.3 million cases of HCV between 2013 and 2016 in the U.S., with the highest proportions in the West and Appalachian regions.
“We’re really excited to use HepVu to bring attention to the hepatitis C and opioid misuse epidemic and to try and advance awareness programs and policies in this area,” Heather Bradley, PhD, from Georgia State University and project director of HepVu, said during the presentation. “We all know that opioid misuse and associated injection drug use increases the risk for bloodborne infections like hepatitis C, so our intent is that the data released today can help states and local jurisdictions better understand hepatitis C prevalence in relation to the local burden of opioid misuse.”
The state-level interactive maps display prevalence estimates that can be viewed alongside social determinants of health and data related to the opioid epidemic, including the prescription rates, misuse prevalence, and overdose mortality rates.
The online resource also provides visualized data on HCV-related mortality rates as of 2016 and downloadable datasets for researchers and health departments to use in analyses, infographics or factsheets.
“Estimating state-level burden of hepatitis C is critical for a number of the efforts we’re all engaged with, be it policy, allocation of resources, or advocacy,” Eli Rosenberg, PhD, from the University at Albany School of Public Health in New York and lead author of the JAMA study, said during the presentation. “The work that’s being presented here through HepVu represents the best estimates available from national prevalence surveillance and vital statistic sources.”
According to Bradley, HepVu’s plans for 2019 include releasing state-level prevalence estimates by sex, age and race, and new content on opioid indicators. HepVu will also provide shareable infographics during Hepatitis Awareness Month and Hepatitis Testing Day in May and publish ongoing blog series featuring experts on hepatitis.
HepVu is a Powered By AIDSVu project presented by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with Gilead Science.
To learn more about Rosenberg and colleagues’ study results, click here for coverage by Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease.
Rosenberg ES, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6371.
Disclosure: Bradley is project director of HepVu. Rosenberg reports no relevant financial disclosures.