Improvement in Hepatitis C Mortality Rates from 2005 to 2017

EW Hall et al. Hepatology 2021; 582-590. Open Access. County-Level Variation in Hepatitis C Virus Mortality and Trends in the United States, 2005-2017

The authors used county-level HCV death rates and assessed trends in HCV mortality from 2005 to 2013 and from 2013 to 2017; the study is derived from mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System.

Key Findings:

  • Nationally, the age-adjusted HCV death rate peaked in 2013 at 5.20 HCV deaths per 100,000 persons and decreasing to 4.34 per 100,000 persons in 2017
  • There was heterogeneity in HCV mortality with the highest rates being concentrated in the West, Southwest, Appalachia, and northern Florida. 80% of counties had improvement in HCV mortality

My take: This study showed widespread improvement trends in HCV death rates from 2013 to 2017 and provides benchmarks for further progress. However, other studies have shown increasing rates of HCV tied to opioid crisis which could impact long-term outcomes as well.

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