A new CDC report finds that the annual rate rose from a rate of 0.3 cases per 100,000 people in 2009 to a rate of 1.2 per 100,000 people in 2018. That report also makes new recommendations for all adults to get screened for hepatitis C at least once in their lifetimes.
The new Vital Signs report included data on confirmed acute hepatitis C cases between 2009 and 2018 from the CDC's National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. Hepatitis C is the most commonly reported bloodborne infection in the United States.
The report, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Thursday, finds that the highest rate of new hepatitis C cases in 2018 was among younger adults ages 20 to 39.
Among adults ages 20 to 29, rates increased about 300% from 0.7 per 100,000 in 2009 to 3.1 per 100,000 in 2018. Among adults ages 30 to 39, rates increased about 400%, from 0.5 per 100,000 in 2009 to 2.6 per 100,000 in 2018, according to the report.
According to the CDC, hepatitis C previously was seen as a concern primarily for baby boomers and people with risk factors, such as injection drug use, but the new data finds that in 2018:
- Millennials, or those born during 1981 to 1996, accounted for 36.5% of newly reported chronic hepatitis C infections.
- Baby boomers accounted for 36.3% of newly reported chronic infections.
- Generation X, born during 1966 to 1980, accounted for 23.1% of newly reported chronic infections.
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