A recent study (BR Edlin et al. Hepatology 2015; 62: 1353-63) provides data suggesting that Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been underestimated.
The number most commonly used is derived from the 2003-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) which showed 3.6 million in the U.S. with antibodies to HCV and 2.7 million currently infected.
The authors performed a systemic review and note that ~1 million people were excluded from this survey including a large number at high risk for HCV: ~500,000 incarcerated people, and 220,000 homeless people.
Based on their analysis, they conclude that “the number of US residents who have been infected with hepatitis C is unknown but is probably at least 4.6 million…and of these, at least 3.5 million… are currently infected.”
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