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Health Services Research & Development

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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Zou B, Yeo YH, Le MH, Henry L, Chang ET, Lok AS, Cheung R, Nguyen MH. Prevalence of Viremic Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Birthplace and Disease Awareness Among Viremic Persons in the United States, 1999-2016. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020 Jan 14; 221(3):408-418.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Athough curative therapy is now available for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the United States, it is not clear whether all affected persons have been diagnosed and/or linked to care. METHODS: This cross-sectional study utilized data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2016) and included 46 465 nonincarcerated and noninstitutionalized participants. RESULTS: Viremic HCV prevalence decreased from 1.32% in 1999-2004 to 0.80% in 2011-2016, although most of the decrease occurred in US-born whites and blacks but not the foreign-born or those born after 1985. In 2011-2016, approximately 1.90 million US adults remained viremic with HCV, and 0.33 million were at higher risk for advanced fibrosis, but only 49.8% were aware of their HCV infection, with higher disease awareness in those with health insurance coverage and US-born persons. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of viremic HCV has decreased in recent years among US born whites and blacks but not in other race/ethnicities and foreign-born persons and birth cohort born after 1985. Less than half of the viremic population was aware of having HCV infection. Improved HCV screening and linkage to care are needed, especially for the uninsured, foreign-born, birth cohort after 1985 and certain ethnic minorities.

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