Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-exposed infants are not adequately screened despite the increased HCV prevalence among pregnant women, and many pediatric HCV infections remain undetected, a recent study found. The population-based, retrospective cohort of pregnant women who delivered between 2006 and 2014 was identified as HCV infected or HCV uninfected. Infant records linked to the HCV-infected pregnant women were identified and queried for HCV tests and the receipt of well-child services. Researchers found:
- 1,043 (1.2%) pregnant women delivered during the study period, and the HCV prevalence increased by 60%.
- HCV-infected women were more likely to be aged <30 years, white, insured by Medicaid, and have opiate use disorder when compared to HCV-uninfected women.
- Infants born to HCV-infected women were more likely to be preterm and of low birth weight.
- 323 of 1,025 (31.0%) HCV-exposed infants received well-child services, and among these, only 96 (30.0%) were screened for HCV.
Chappell CA, Hillier SL, Crowe D, Meyn LA, Bogen DL, Krans EE. Hepatitis C virus screening among children exposed during pregnancy. [Published online ahead of print May 2, 2018]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-3273.
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