Hepatitis C Statistics


General Statistics

  • Hepatitis C virus commonly spread through sharing of needles, or other equipment to inject drugs. 1
  • Risk of transmission occurs more if the person has a pre-existing virus such as HIV. 1
  • 3.2 million persons in the United States have chronic Hepatitis C virus infection. 1
  • Approximately 75%-85% of people infected with Hepatitis C virus develop chronic infection. 1
  • After exposure, average time of symptoms is 6-7 weeks; however, most do not have any symptoms. 1
  • Approximately 70-80% of people with acute Hepatitis C do not have symptoms. 1
  • Of every 100 people infected with Hepatitis C about: 1
  • 75-85 people will develop chronic Hepatitis C Virus infection; of those
    • 60-70 people will go on to develop chronic liver disease
    • 5-20 people will go on to develop cirrhosis over a period of 20-30 years
    • 1-5 people will die from cirrhosis or liver failure.


African American Hepatitis C Statistics

  • African American represents 13% of the U.S population, but make up about 22% of the chronic hepatitis C cases.1
  • African Americans have significantly higher rates of chronic hepatitis C infections than do Caucasians and other ethnic groups. 1
  • 4 of every 100 infant born to mothers with Hepatitis C become infected with the virus. 1
  • Chronic liver disease, often Hepatitis C-related is the leading cause of death among people ages 45-64 among African Americans. 1
  • Lack of testing for Hepatitis C among African Americans. 1
  • There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. 1
  • 26 Americans die each day from Hepatitis C complications. 2
  • Each year approximately 170,000 new cases of HCV occur in the United States of America. 2

Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/AfricanAmerica-HepC.htm


Hepatitis C Now Trumps HIV as Cause of Death in U.S.

More U.S. residents are now dying of hepatitis C complications than HIV-related illnesses, according to data summarized in the February 21 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

  • The discovery that HCV infection is now responsible for more deaths than HIV infection is due, in large part, to the continued decline of AIDS-related deaths over the decade. Whereas HIV contributed to six per 100,000 deaths in 1999, the rate dropped to less than four per 100,000 deaths in 2007.
  • Hepatitis C–related deaths have increased sharply.
  • With respect to crude numbers, roughly 12,700 HIV-related deaths were reported to the National Center for Health Statistics in 2007. More than 15,000 HCV-related deaths were reported to the center that year.
  • Co-infection with HIV nearly doubled the risk of death from HBV-related complications and quadrupled the risk of death from HCV-associated liver disease.

Viral Hepatitis Surveillance 2009 - http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Statistics/2009Surveillance/PDFs/2009HepSurveillanceRpt.pdf 


The NMA promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent. We carry out this mission by serving as the collective voice of physicians of African descent and a leading force for parity in medicine, elimination of health disparities and promotion of optimal health.