Hepatitis C Risk and Infection by the Numbers

Hepatitis C Risk and Infection by the Numbers

Common risk factors for HCV infection include being a “Baby Boomer” (born between 1945 and 1965), injection drug use, and having a blood transfusion or solid organ transplant before 1992, among others. We wanted to know more about our community, including risk factors and when they became infected.

403 Hepatitis C patients

Completed the online HepC in America 2015 survey, which gathered insights about their symptoms and treatment journey, as well as risk factors and how they contracted HCV.

4 out of 5

Individuals surveyed cited that a potential risk factor for contracting hepatitis C was that they were a Baby Boomer, born between 1945 and 1965.  Similary, 4 out of 5 indicated a risk factor of illicit drug use, with 52% having used injection drugs at least once and 28% having used intranasal drugs.

19%

Of those surveyed cited a potential risk factor of receiving a tattoo or piercing from an unlicensed business or prison, as well as 19% of individuals indicating they have been in jail or prison. 

More than 1/3

Mentioned they were exposed to hepatis C risks, since they were a patient for another health condition.  A total of 27% had a blood transfusion or solid organ transplant prior to 1992, 4% had received clotting factor concentrates (e.g., blood platelets) prior to 1987, 1% had long-term hemodialysis, and 1% received blood or an organ from a donor who tested positive for hepatitis C.

1 in 3

Individuals surveyed knew when they were infected with hepatitis C.

1974 or earlier

Is when 23% of those who knew when they were infected with hepatitis C were infected.  Among those surveyed, only 11% indicated they had been infected since 2000.

47%

Of those surveyed knew how they were infected with hepatitis C.  Among these individuals, 41% cited they had used injection drugs, 6% has used intranasal illicit drugs and 7% had a tattoo or piercing from an unlicensed business or while in prison.

More than 1/3

Of those who knew how they were infected with hepatitis C, were infected as a patient: 27% had receive a blood transfusion before 1992 or an organ transplant from a donor who tested positive for hepatitis C, 7% were exposed to infected blood while being hospitalized or a patient in another healthcare setting, and 1% received clotting factor concentrates (e.g., blood platelets) infected with hepatitis C.

Less than 5%

Of those knowing how they contracted hepatitis C were exposed to infected blood while working in a healthcare or public safety setting.

More than 10 years

Went between being infected with hepatitis C and being formally diagnosed for 49% of individuals, whereas 29% went less than 1 year between infection and diagnosis, for those able to identify when infected.

Less than ½

Of individuals who were aware of when they were infected, recall experiencing symptoms they believe to be caused by hepatitis C at the time (45%). A total of 79% of these individuals shared their symptoms with their healthcare professional at the time.  Of those sharing their symptoms with their doctor, only 35% were then tested for hepatitis C.

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