Abstract: #1588 Hepatitis C Infection in Pregnant American Indian and Alaska Native Women; 2011-2015 – Leisha Nolen, et al., By Lucinda Porter, RN
Recent data show an increasing number of younger HCV-infected individuals, presumably due to the opioid epidemic. Because HCV can be transmitted vertically during pregnancy, this study assessed the HCV infection rate in pregnant American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women from 2011 through 2015.
They found that between 2013 and 2015, more than 12% of non-Native women and nearly 17% of AI/AN women of reproductive age self-reported ever having been tested for HCV. The percentage of pregnant women who were known to have HCV infection increased between 2011 and 2015 in both the AI/AN population (0.57% to 1.19%) and the non-Native population (0.21% to 0.36%,).
Conclusion: This study found a significant increase in the proportion of pregnant AI/AN and non-Native women with known HCV infection between 2011 and 2015. Only a small percentage of women reported having ever been screened, raising the possibility that the true prevalence of infection is higher. The majority of women with HCV did not have medically documented history of injection drug use. The researchers state that the data suggest reassessing risk-based HCV testing and prevention programs in high-risk pregnant AI/AN women.
Editorial Comments: Universal HCV testing of all pregnant women is an economic and logical alternative to risk-based HCV testing. The cost-effectiveness of this strategy was reported in another presentation: #87 Hepatitis C Virus Risk-Based Vs. Universal Screening Among Pregnant Women: Implementation and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis – Michelle Rose, et al.Share This Page