The number of cases of chronic hepatitis C is expected to increase four-fold during the next decade as a result of unsuspected infections from tainted blood transfusions, injection drug use, and occupational exposures (such as needlesticks) before routine screening began in the early 1990s. Complications such as cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, and liver cancer are expected to rise also, keeping hepatitis C virus (HCV) the most common reason for liver transplants, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus panel statement in June.
Vastag B. Hepatitis C Consensus. JAMA. 2002;288(3):307. doi:10.1001/jama.288.3.307-JHA20007-3-1