Emory University's Rollin School of Public Health research Hepat - CBS46 News

Emory University's Rollin School of Public Health research Hepatitis C in the United States

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Hepatitis C infection (HCV) is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States.

Researchers from Emory University's Rollin School of Public Health and the CDC found that HCV is in every U.S state in persons under eighteen years of age. 

A research team led by Eli Rosenberg, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Rollins School combined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), death records from the National Vital Statistics System, U.S intercensal data and the 2010 U.S. Census to discover local patterns and provide the first comprehensive state estimates of both past or current HCV and chronic HCV infection in the United States.

“Hepatitis C infection is a major source of liver-related illness and death in our country yet until now, we haven’t able to see the full picture of which areas are most-impacted,” explains Rosenberg. “In the absence of a comprehensive national HCV surveillance system, we and our CDC colleagues took the next-best approach by synthesizing vast quantities of publicly-available data to estimate HCV infection at the state-level. These findings can be regularly updated as new data become available. These numbers will be helpful to guide policies, resources, and practices aimed at lowering the burden of HCV infection in all US states.”

Here are a few facts on HCV:

  • Using a single and consistent approach, researchers estimated the prevalence of hepatitis C among non-institutionalized adults in all 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia. 
  • Consistent and comparable state-level estimates of hepatitis C prevalence can help health departments and local prevention programs with their planning and use of resources. 
  • The West Census Region had the highest prevalence of HCV antibody at 2.14%, with 10 of 13 states in the West Region having a prevalence higher than the national average.

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