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Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Apr;58(8):1055-61. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu077. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Mortality among persons in care with hepatitis C virus infection: the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS), 2006-2010.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Erratum in

  • Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Jun;58(12):1792.



The number of deaths in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected persons recorded on US death certificates has been increasing, but actual rates and causes of death in these individuals have not been well elucidated.


Disease-specific, liver-related, and non-liver-related mortality data for HCV-infected patients in an observational cohort study, the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS) at 4 US healthcare systems, were compared with multiple cause of death (MCOD) data in 12 million death certificates in 2006-2010. Premortem diagnoses, liver biopsies, and FIB-4 scores (a noninvasive measure of liver damage) were examined.


Of 2 143 369 adult patients seen at CHeCS sites in 2006-2010, 11 703 (0.5%) had diagnosed chronic HCV infection, and 1590 (14%) died. The majority of CHeCS decedents were born from 1945 to 1965 (75%), white (50%), and male (68%); mean age of death was 59 years, 15 years younger than MCOD deaths. The age-adjusted mortality rate for liver disease in CHeCS was 12 times higher than the MCOD rate. Before death, 63% of decedents had medical record evidence of chronic liver disease, 76% had elevated FIB-4 scores, and, among those biopsied, 70% had moderate or worse liver fibrosis. However, only 19% of all CHeCS decedents and only 30% of those with recorded liver disease had HCV listed on their death certificates.


HCV infection is greatly underdocumented on death certificates. The 16 622 persons with HCV listed in 2010 may represent only one-fifth of about 80 000 HCV-infected persons dying that year, at least two-thirds of whom (53 000 patients) would have had premortem indications of chronic liver disease.


cause of death; hepatitis C virus; liver disease; mortality

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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