Baby boomers (BB) had the highest prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among the US population, and it’s important for healthcare professionals to identify age-specific risk factors in this group and use them in targeted screening and public health prevention efforts. This according to a recent study that examined US adult HCV prevalence and age-specific risk factors for chronic HCV infection. Researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999-2012. Age was divided into 3 categories: BB, younger than BB (YG), and older than BB (OG). They found:
- Overall prevalence of chronic HCV was 1.19% with a US population estimate of 2,347,852 US adults.
- BB had the highest prevalence at 2.23%, accounting for >74% of all chronic HCV cases.
- HCV prevalence was highest among all ages (1.83%) and BB (2.71%) in 2001-2002.
- Among BB, males, non-Hispanic blacks, having positive blood transfusion history, current and former smokers, and living below the poverty level were significant predictors of chronic HCV positivity.
Moore KJ, Gauri A, Koru-Sengul T. Prevalence and sociodemographic disparities of hepatitis C in Baby Boomers and the US adult population. [Published online ahead of print August 28, 2018]. J Infect Public Health. doi:10.1016/j.jiph.2018.08.003.
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