HealthDay News — Many infants who are exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) during pregnancy are not screened for HCV infection, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Catherine A. Chappell, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues identified and classified pregnant women who delivered between 2006 and 2014 as HCV-infected or HCV-uninfected based on billing codes. Linked infant records were identified and evaluated for HCV tests and the receipt of well-child services at or after 9 months of age.

The researchers found that over the study period, 1,043 pregnant women who delivered (1.2 percent) were HCV-infected, and HCV prevalence increased by 60 percent. HCV-infected women were more likely to be <30 years of age (67 versus 53 percent), be white (93 versus 72 percent), be insured by Medicaid (77 versus 29 percent), and have opiate use disorder (68 versus 1 percent) compared with HCV-uninfected women. The infants of HCV-infected women were more likely to be preterm (22 versus 10 percent) and of low birth weight (23 versus 8 percent). Fewer than one-third of the 1,025 HCV-exposed infants with available pediatric records received well-child services (31 percent), with only 30 percent of these infants screened for HCV.


Continue Reading

“Despite the increased HCV prevalence among pregnant women and the risk of perinatal HCV transmission, HCV-exposed infants are not adequately screened, and many pediatric HCV infections remain undetected,” the authors write.

Related Articles

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)