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Am J Prev Med. 2018 Nov;55(5):633-641. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.05.029.

Hepatitis C Virus in Women of Childbearing Age, Pregnant Women, and Children.

Author information

1
Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address: sschillie@cdc.gov.
2
Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
3
Laboratory Corporation of America, Burlington, North Carolina.
4
Quest Diagnostics, Madison, New Jersey.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Perinatal transmission is an increasingly important mode of hepatitis C virus transmission. The authors characterized U.S. births among hepatitis C virus-infected women and evaluated trends in hepatitis C virus testing and positivity in women of childbearing age, pregnant women, and children aged less than 5years.

METHODS:

In 2017, National Center for Health Statistics birth certificate data (48 states and District of Columbia) were analyzed to assess the number of hepatitis C virus-infected women delivering live births in 2015, and commercial laboratory data were analyzed to assess hepatitis C virus testing and positivity among women of childbearing age, pregnant women, and children aged <5years from 2011 to 2016.

RESULTS:

In 2015, a total of 0.38% (n=14,417) of live births were delivered by hepatitis C virus-infected women. Births delivered by hepatitis C virus-infected women, compared with births overall, occurred more often in women who were aged 20-29years (60.7% vs 50.9%); white, non-Hispanic (80.2% vs 52.8%); covered by Medicaid or other government insurance (79.2% vs 43.9%); and had rural residence (26.0% vs 14.0%). From 2011 to 2016 laboratory data, among women of childbearing age, hepatitis C virus testing increased by 39%, from 6.1% to 8.4%, and positivity increased by 36%, from 4.4% to 6.0%. Among pregnant women, hepatitis C virus testing increased by 135%, from 5.7% to 13.4%, and positivity increased by 39%, from 2.6% to 3.6%. Among children, hepatitis C virus testing increased by 25%, from 0.47% to 0.59%, and positivity increased by 13%, from 3.6% to 4.0%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The potential for perinatal hepatitis C virus transmission exists. Expanded hepatitis C virus testing guidelines may address the burden of disease in this population.

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