BMC Infectious Diseases | May 2018
Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common blood-borne viral infection in the United States. Previously, we used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to estimate the prevalence of HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) and HCV RNA among all U.S. states. However, demographic differences in HCV burden at the state-level have not been systematically described. This analysis quantified the HCV burden stratified by sex and race (and associated disparities) for each U.S. state.
Methods: Building on our previous method, we used three publicly available data sources to estimate HCV RNA prevalence among noninstitutionalized adults stratified by sex and race group. We used a small-area estimation approach that included direct standardization of NHANES demographic data with logistic regression modeling of HCV-related mortality data as an adjustment factor to estimate the state-level prevalence and total persons with chronic HCV infection for sex and race groups in all U.S. states.
Results: Nationally, males had an estimated HCV RNA prevalence of 1.56% (95% CI: 1.37–1.84%) and females had a prevalence of 0.75% (95% CI: 0.63–0.96%). Stratified by race, national estimated prevalence of HCV RNA was highest among non-Hispanic black (2.43, 95% CI: 2.10–2.90%), followed by non-Hispanic white (1.05, 95% CI: 0.90–1.27%) and Hispanic/other (0.74, 95% CI: 0.59–1.04%). Males in most jurisdictions (41/51) have an HCV RNA prevalence that is between 1.5 and 2.5 times higher than their female counterparts.
Conclusions: HCV infection disparities by sex are mostly consistent across the country. However, race differences in HCV infection differ by state and tailored prevention and treatment efforts specific to the local HCV epidemic are needed to reduce race disparities.