Saw this and wondered about its accuracy. Any opinons?
It emphasizes IVDU as the principal boomer source (which may be true but seems too blanket a statement to account for many of us) and second, the rates in other countries are very high and may stimulate a rise here, due to increased travel, immigration, etc. HCV does not politely stop at geographical borders.
Boomers May Be Last Boom of Hepatitis C
August 2, 2010
A new study of U.S. blood donors shows a "strikingly lower prevalence" of hepatitis C virus (HCV) compared with 1992-93, according to lead researcher Dr. Edward Murphy of the University of California-San Francisco.
HCV is a blood-borne infection that is primarily contracted from dirty syringes, but a small number of cases are sexually transmitted or passed from mother to infant during childbirth. The body can clear hepatitis C, though infections become chronic 75 percent to 85 percent of the time. CDC estimates that 1 percent to 5 percent of people with chronic HCV eventually die of cirrhosis or liver cancer.
In the early 1990s, about a half a percent of blood donors were positive for HCV antibodies, indicating either a chronic infection or past infection that cleared. From 2006 to 2007, the study analyzed samples from nearly 960,000 blood donors at six U.S. blood banks, finding less than a tenth of a percent were positive for HCV antibodies.
Murphy said the decrease probably reflects an overall decline of hepatitis C, especially among younger Americans. The baby boom generation, which had higher rates of injection drug use than subsequent generations, has more carriers of the infection and is at higher risk for HCV-related liver disease.
Two other factors for higher risk of hepatitis C among blood donors were found. Among women, the odds of having HCV antibodies increased with the number of children they had given birth to -- from 1 infection in 3,300 among women who had never given birth to 1 in 1,000 among women with five or more children.
Obese adults were less likely than their normal-weight peers to have HCV antibodies. And among those with antibodies, obese persons were less likely to have the genetic material that signals the ongoing presence of HCV.
The study, "Hepatitis C Virus Prevalence and Clearance Among U.S. Blood Donors, 2006-2007: Associations with Birth Cohort, Multiple Pregnancies, and Body Mass Index," was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (2010;202:576-584).
07.26.2010; Amy Norton, Reuters
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser: