The CDC conducted a review of death records for the mention of Hepatitis B or C, and HIV/AIDS, for the period from 1999 to 2007. Deaths associated with Hepatitis B remained constant, HIV/AIDS deaths declined. Deaths caused by Hepatitis C increased...significantly. Almost three quarters of the Hepatitis C-related deaths occurred in people between 45 and 64 years of age.
Scott Holmberg, MD, of the CDC, presented these sobering findings at a meeting of liver disease specialists (the AASLD) in San Francisco, on November 8. Holmberg noted that the results call for a change in policy direction to improve detection of Hepatitis C and access to care for patients. He noted that "...we think a commitment to detect and treat chronic HCV will markedly improve the growing wave of disability and death from this under-appreciated viral infection."
The facts speak for themselves. We need to make sure that CDC's commitment to bring the hidden epidemic of Hepatitis C out of the shadows is realized. Broad Hepatitis C testing and full access to care are a healthcare priority NOW.