HCV Infection Doubled in Reproductive-aged Women From 2006 to 2014

HealthDay News — The number of reproductive-aged women with past or present hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is increasing, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Kathleen N. Ly, MPH, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the characteristics of reproductive-aged women with HCV infection and their offspring, using data from the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) from 2006 to 2014 and the Quest Diagnostics Health Trends national database from 2011 to 2014. Data were included for 171,801 women and 1859 children with HCV infection reported to the NNDSS and for 2.1 million women and 56,684 children who underwent HCV testing by Quest Diagnostics.

The researchers found that there was a doubling in the number of reproductive-aged women with acute and past or present HCV infection in NNDSS, from 15,550 in 2006 to 31,039 in 2014. Overall, 0.73% of the 581,255 pregnant women tested by Quest had HVC infection from 2011 to 2014; 0.76% of the children had HCV infection, with the percentages of 1.62% among those aged 2 to 3 years and 0.50% among those aged 12 to 13 years. The estimated average was 29,000 women with HCV infection giving birth to 1,700 infants with infection each year, based on application of the Quest HCV infection rate to annual live births from 2011 to 2014.

“These data suggest a recent increase in HCV infection among reproductive-aged women and may inform deliberations regarding a role for routine HCV screening during pregnancy,” the researchers write.

One author is an employee of Quest Diagnostics.

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Ly KN, Jiles RB, Teshale EH, Foster MA, Pesano RL, Holmberg SD. Hepatitis C virus infection among reproductive-aged women and children in the United States, 2006 to 2014 [published online May 9, 2017]. Ann Intern Med. doi: 10.7326/M16-2350.