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Millions of Americans Are Living With Hidden Epidemics of Hepatitis B and C, Top Experts Warn
Date:9/27/2010

160;
  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that 150,000 Americans could die from liver cancer or end-stage liver disease associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the next decade;
  • The death rate from HCV is expected to triple in the next 10 to 20 years;
  • An independent analysis found total medical costs for HCV patients could more than double over the next 20 years – from $30 to $80 billion per year;
  • Liver cancer treatment can be more than $62,000 for the first year cost and the first-year cost of a liver transplant can be more than $267,000;
  • Two-thirds of HCV cases are Baby Boomers – and if they are left untreated, it could lead to a major increase in upcoming Medicare spending;
  • One in 10 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are estimated to have a chronic HBV infection;
  • An estimated 540,000 to 858,000 African Americans are estimated to have a chronic HCV infection;
  • Approximately 800 to 1,000 infants in the United States are infected with HBV at birth each year; and
  • At least 100,000 patients have been notified about potential exposure to HBV, HCV, and/or HIV while receiving health care since 1998.

  • Some highlight recommendations from AASLD and TFAH in the report include:  

    • HBV and HCV screening and HBV vaccination should be the standard of care in the reformed health system.  All Americans should be screened for HBV and HCV and all Americans should be vaccinated for HBV;
    • All pregnant women should be screened for HBV and appropriate health measures should be taken to prevent perinatal transmission from infected mothers to their newborns.  All newborns should receive their initial (birthdose) of hepatitis vaccine within twelve hours of birth;
    • Every person diagnosed with HBV or HCV should have access to and receive a minimum standardized level of care and receive s
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    SOURCE The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
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