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NVHR: New JAMA Article Underscores Urgent Need for Congress to Act on Viral Hepatitis Detection, Management Funding
Date:11/11/2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An article running in the new issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, "Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis May Lead to Boom in Serious Liver Disease," underscores the urgent need for Congress to act on new bipartisan legislation, HR 3974, that would increase funding for a comprehensive prevention, research, and medical management referral program for chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C virus infection afflicting millions of Americans, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) said today.

The NVHR is a coalition of more than 150 public, private, and voluntary organizations dedicated to reducing the incidence of infection, morbidity, and mortality from viral hepatitis in the United States through strategic planning, leadership, coordination, advocacy, and research. www.nvhr.org

"This new JAMA article shines a spotlight on the urgent need for Congress to act on bipartisan legislation to increase funding for comprehensive prevention, research, and medical management of chronic liver disease," said NVHR Chair Lorren Standt. "Without action, the annual costs of chronic liver disease are projected to triple in less than a generation to at least $85 billion annually and wreak havoc with minority communities, especially African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans."

The JAMA article provides a succinct overview of the global nature of hepatitis infection - more than 500 million people worldwide are believed to be infected with hepatitis B or C virus - and its implications for the U.S. health care system. As the complexion of the U.S. population diversifies in the coming decades, the need to address chronic liver disease will intensify. The article also pointedly notes that "shifts in clinical practice and public policy could help prevent viral hepatitis infections and im
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SOURCE National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
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