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The American Liver Foundation Urges Cautious Optimism about CDC,Report on Declining Acute Hepatitis Infection Rates

ase to the health care system is severe. A study conducted in 2002 estimated total medical expenditures for people with hepatitis C at $15 billion per year. The projected direct and indirect costs of hepatitis C, if infection rates do not continue to drop significantly, will be $85 billion for the years 2010-2019 as the number of people chronically infected will continue to increase.

    Facts about hepatitis

    * There are five distinct types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, and E.  All

      cause inflammation of the liver

    * The hepatitis B virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV

    * It is estimated that there are 1.4 million Americans with chronic

      hepatitis B

    * Hepatitis B and C can lead to liver cancer

    * There are vaccines for hepatitis A and B.  There is no vaccine for

      hepatitis C

    * Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection in the United

      States

    * Almost 4 million Americans, or 1.8 percent of the U.S. population, are

      or have been infected with hepatitis C

    * Recent studies suggest that approximately 40 percent of the 2.2 million

      people in America's prison system are infected with hepatitis C


    About the American Liver Foundation

The American Liver Foundation is the nation's leading nonprofit organization promoting liver health and disease prevention. ALF provides research, education and advocacy for those affected by liver-related diseases including hepatitis. Please visit the American Liver Foundation's Web site at http://www.liverfoundation.org

CONTACT: Paul Gibney, Manager, Marketing & Communications of the AmericanLiver Foundation, +1-212-668-1000, ext. 131, pgibney@liverfoundation.org

Web site: http://www.liverfoundation.org/

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