New tool to help identify areas for increased education and screening for hepatitis C
WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In recognition of World Hepatitis Day, the National Minority Quality Forum today launched the Hepatitis C Index, a novel resource for mapping hepatitis C (http://www.maphepc.com).
For the first time, health-care practitioners, policy makers, advocacy groups, and researchers will be able to quantify and map hepatitis C (HCV) prevalence and total counts at the zip-code level for the United States as well as for individual states, counties, metropolitan statistical areas, and federal and state legislative districts. In addition, the index maps HCV by age, gender and race/ethnicity. Index users may generate color-coded maps of hepatitis C prevalence, total counts and hospitalizations rates for downloading, printing, and dissemination to support educational and advocacy initiatives.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus surface antigens (HBsAg) are common in injecting drug users (IDUs), with an estimated 10.0 million IDUs positive for HCV and 1.2 million for HBsAg, according to a review published online July 28 in The Lancet.
The investigators found that, based on eligible reports with anti-HCV prevalence data from IDUs in 77 counties, the midpoint anti-HCV prevalence was 60 to 80 percent in 25 countries and more than 80 percent in 12 countries; worldwide, there might be up to 10 million anti-HCV-positive IDUs, with the highest numbers in China, the United States, and Russia. Eligible HBsAg reports were identified for 59 countries, with midpoint prevalence of 5 to 10 percent in 21 countries and more than 10 percent in 10 countries. Overall, an estimated 6.4 million and 1.2 million IDUs were anti-HBc positive and HBsAg positive, respectively.