Investigators for a new study estimated that approximately 2.7 million US residents have chronic hepatitis C virus, which is about 500,000 fewer than in a similar analysis between 1999 and 2002.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n=30,074) were used to estimate the prevalence of chronic HCV infection between 2003 and 2010. In total, 273 participants tested positive for HCV RNA. Of those, the investigators calculated that an estimated 1% had chronic HCV infection, which equates to 2.7 million US residents.
Chronic HCV infection was more common among US residents aged 40 to 59 years, men, non-Hispanic blacks, and those with a lower education level and family income. Illicit drug use and a blood transfusion before 1992 were identified as factors significantly associated with chronic HCV infection. However, 49% of US residents with chronic HCV infection did not report either risk factor, according to the study findings.
Source: Denniston MM. Ann Intern Med. 2014.