Deaths associated with the hepatitis C virus rose more than those of several other infectious diseases over the past decade.
The number of deaths associated with the hepatitis C virus climbed well above those of several other infectious diseases over a 10-year period ending in 2013, according to a recent government study.
To gather current trends estimates related to hepatitis C mortality, researchers looked at data on multiple cause of death and compared it to trends in deaths that were associated with 60 other nationally notifiable infectious conditions (ONNIC) that are routinely reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results were published in March in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
“Despite improving therapies, our study found that deaths associated with HCV continued to rise while deaths associated with 60 other ONNICs that are routinely reported to CDC declined,” lead author Kathleen Ly stated in the journal article.
Results from the study and previous analyses show that the hepatitis C-related deaths occurred mainly in adults between the ages of 55 to 64, the so-called baby boom generation, “indicating the premature loss of life and economic burden with HCV infection,” note the authors. Recent health campaigns worldwide have encouraged people in this age group to be tested for the bloodborne virus, which can seriously damage the liver over time.