Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Share
Compartir

Dear Colleague Letters

CDC Releases Hepatitis C Vital Signs Report


May 7, 2013

Dear Colleague:

We are pleased to announce that today, CDC released a new Vital Signs report to raise awareness about the importance of testing baby boomers for hepatitis C. The corresponding Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR), Vital Signs: Evaluation of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Testing and Reporting — Eight U.S. Sites, 2005–2011, and Testing for HCV Infection: An Update of Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians were also released.

This month’s Vital Signs Fact Sheet highlights some of the key issues around hepatitis C, especially the impact on baby boomers:

  • About 3 million adults in the US are infected with the hepatitis C virus, most are baby boomers
  • Adults born from 1945-1965 are 5 times more likely to have hepatitis C
  • Up to 3 in 4 people don’t know they’re infected so they aren’t getting the medical care they need
  • Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants

The MMWR report focuses on hepatitis C testing and reporting. The report data, pulled from eight hepatitis C surveillance sites across the country, show that only half (51 percent) of those with a positive hepatitis C antibody test were reported to the health department to have also received follow-up testing with an RNA test to determine if they are still infected. While some of the remaining persons may have tested negative on the follow up test, it is likely that many are still infected, and are not receiving the needed follow-up test to diagnose current infection.

The new data further underscore the severe impact of hepatitis C among baby boomers (individuals born from 1945 through 1965). Baby boomers accounted for 67 percent of all reported hepatitis C cases and 72 percent of all reported deaths among persons with hepatitis C.

CDC also is releasing Testing for HCV Infection: An Update of Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians. CDC is issuing this guidance because of 1) changes in the availability of certain commercial hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody tests, 2) evidence that many people with a reactive HCV antibody test might not get the needed follow-up testing, and 3) significant treatment advances for hepatitis C. Testing strategies must ensure the identification of those persons with current HCV infection so they can receive appropriate preventive services, clinical evaluation, and medical treatment.

What can be done?

  • Baby boomers can ask their health care providers about getting tested for hepatitis C
  • Health care providers can test all patients born from 1945-1965 for hepatitis C
  • Health care providers can make sure that everyone with a positive hepatitis C antibody test gets the follow-up test and is linked to lifesaving care and treatment, if currently infected.

Hepatitis C has had a significant effect on the baby boomer population. Testing this population and then linking those infected to care can reduce further hepatitis C-related morbidity and mortality. Please join us in our efforts to get people with hepatitis C identified and into medical care.

Sincerely,

/Rima Khabbaz/

Rima F. Khabbaz, M.D.
Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases
Director, Office of Infectious Diseases
Acting Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/nchhstp

/John Ward/

John W. Ward, MD
Director, Division of Viral Hepatitis
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/hepatitis



 
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO

Hepatitis Awareness Month.  Click here to register your Hepatitis event.  http://www.cdcnpin.org/HTD/SubmitEvent.aspx


The NCHHSTP Atlas is an interactive tool that provides CDC an effective way to disseminate HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB data, while allowing users to observe trends and patterns by creating detailed reports, maps, and other graphics. Find out more! http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/atlas/

CDC 24/7 – Saving Lives. Protecting People. Saving Money Through Prevention. Learn More About How CDC Works For You

USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #