Hepatitis C-Related Deaths Expected to Triple Over Next 10 Years; New Treatments Years From Approval
June 1, 2005
CDC has estimated that the number of hepatitis C-related deaths in the United States will triple over the next 10 years, the Wall Street Journal reports. About 8,000 to 10,000 people in the United States die annually of complications related to hepatitis C, which often lies dormant for decades after transmission, according to the Journal. Many people who are getting sick with the disease today were infected sometime between the mid-1960s and the 1980s through shared needles, blood transfusion or, less commonly, unprotected sex, according to the Journal. About 67% of people living with hepatitis C are white, male baby boomers who live above the poverty line, according to CDC data. "The majority of my patients experimented with drugs during the '60s and '70s and now work on Wall Street," Robert Brown, medical director for the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, said. About 80% of people living with hepatitis C -- which is the leading cause of chronic liver disease -- never experience symptoms, and 20% clear the virus without treatment, according to the CDC. There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C.
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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