New Face of Hepatitis C
Chronic hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection continues to carry a high burden of disease despite recent and emerging advancements in treatment. The persistently high prevalence of HCV is attributed to the rising opioid epidemic, with a history of injection drug use as the primary risk factor for infection. As a result, the epidemiology of HCV-infected individuals is changing. Previously a disease of “Baby Boomers,” males, and non-Hispanic blacks, the new generation of patients with HCV includes younger adults from 20 to 39 years of age, both men and women similarly represented, and non-Hispanic whites. Shifting trends in these demographics may be attributed to the use of injection drugs, which also has suggested impact on fibrosis progression in infected individuals. Awareness of the changing face of HCV is necessary to expand and revise recommendations regarding screening, outreach, and care engagement of infected individuals, in order to best identify patients at-risk for infection.
KeywordsHepatitis C Epidemiology Diagnosis Risk factors
Hepatitis C virus
Center of Disease Control
People who inject drugs
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
TW and SS were involved in the study concept and design; TW and PGK acquired the data; TW, PGK, and SS analyzed and interpreted the data; TW, PGK, and SS drafted the manuscript; TW, PGK, AC, and SS were involved in the critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; SS provided administrative, technical, or material support and was involved in the study supervision; statistical analysis (not applicable); obtained funding (not applicable).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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