New HepVu Data Visualizes Hep C’s Impact on Americans By Age, Sex, and Race

HepVu has launched new interactive maps illustrating the prevalence of Hepatitis C in the United States between 2013 and 2016, stratified at the state level by age, sex, and race. Published in Hepatology Communications, the data demonstrate that of the estimated 2.3 million people living with Hepatitis C infection in the U.S. during this time, the epidemic continues to disproportionately impact males, the Baby Boomer population (those born between 1945 and 1969), Black Americans, and, increasingly, young persons in states highly affected by the opioid epidemic – a result of injection drug use.

Key findings include:

  • There were twice as many Hepatitis C infections among men than among women – a ratio that was consistent in nearly every state. Nationally, the rate of Hepatitis C prevalence was 1.3 percent for males and 0.6 percent for females.
  • Hepatitis C prevalence was more than twice as high for Black Americans than for non-Black Americans, at 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Though Black Americans comprised 12 percent of the U.S. population, they represented 23 percent of Hepatitis C infections nationwide.
  • 71 percent of infections were among Baby Boomers. Hepatitis C prevalence among Baby Boomers, at 1.6 percent, was three times higher than the prevalence among those born after 1969, at 0.5 percent.
  • Younger Americans represent an increasing proportion of new Hepatitis C infections. In certain states, such as Kentucky, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Oklahoma, the Hepatitis C prevalence rate among people born after 1969 was twice as high as the national average for that age group. Kentucky, West Virginia, and Oklahoma also have some of the highest opioid prescription rates in the country – demonstrating the intersection of the growing burden of Hepatitis C among younger adults and the increasing misuse of opioids, as well as the sharing of needles and other equipment used to inject drugs.

“Illustrating disparities in Hepatitis C prevalence is key to understanding high-risk populations and where they reside,” said Heather Bradley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health and Project Director for HepVu. “Our research aims to deliver in-depth insights on Hepatitis C across the U.S. and its distribution within states to better inform public health decision-making and resource allocation for monitoring, prevention, and care services.”

Read the full announcement to learn more.


About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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