Hepatitis C (Hep C) infection is increasing in Arkansas, according to
new research published in the May 2015 issue of the Journal of the
Arkansas Medical Society. The research, conducted by physicians and
epidemiologists from the Arkansas Department of Health and University of
Arkansas for Medical Sciences, showed that Hep C-related
hospitalizations increased from 2,837 in 2004, to 4,141 in 2012. In
addition, Hep C is now a leading cause or contributing factor in more
deaths than HIV; the most recent data available suggests Hep C-related
deaths occur at nearly twice the rate of HIV-related deaths.
Naveen Patil with the Arkansas Department of Health says, "We believe
that in Arkansas there may be about 30,000 people who might be
chronically infected and a majority of them may not be knowing about it.
People who are infected at that
time. It usually takes decades for people to manifest the disease of
chronic infection, maybe 30-40-50 years. So we are seeing an increased
burden of that disease with all it's chronic manifestations right now."
a result, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is encouraging all
individuals born between 1945 and 1965, or anyone who is at risk for
infection, get tested for Hepatitis C at least once. Testing is
available at all 94 county health units, and individuals may also ask
their primary care doctor about getting tested.
Labels: Arkansas, Epidemiology, increasing rates of hepC infection, Mortality