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Medical News & Perspectives
March 26, 2014

Estimate of New Chronic HCV Cases Lower Than Expected

JAMA. 2014;311(12):1188-1189. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2918

The number of US individuals living with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is about 500 000 fewer than previously estimated, according to new findings from the US Centers and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Denniston MM et al. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160[5]: 293-300). But despite this large change in prevalence, the new estimate still finds a substantial population of individuals with chronic HCV in the United States.

The CDC’s new estimate is based on HCV testing of individuals participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2003 and 2010. Of the roughly 30 000 tested, 273 (about 1%) tested positive for chronic HCV infection. If extrapolated to the wider US population, this would suggest that there are 2.7 million US individuals currently living with HCV compared with the 3.2 million predicted based on NHANES data from 1999 to 2002.

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