TUESDAY, April 11, 2023 (HealthDay News) — From 2016 to 2020, there was an increase in the rate of hepatitis C virus infection in mothers giving birth, followed by a decrease from 2020 through 2021, according to the April 11 National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Danielle M. Ely, Ph.D., and Elizabeth C.W. George, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, presented data from birth certificates based on 100 percent of births registered in the United States from 2016 to 2021 to examine trends in hepatitis C virus infection.

The researchers found a 20 percent increase in the overall rate of hepatitis C virus infection from 2016 to 2020, followed by a decline of 8 percent from 2020 through 2021 (from 421.4 to 506.5 to 463.7 per 100,000 births, respectively). From 2016 through 2020, hepatitis C rates increased significantly for mothers aged 25 years and older, for all maternal race and Hispanic-origin groups apart from non-Hispanic Asian women, for all maternal education levels, for mothers who did and did not smoke during pregnancy, for all prenatal care categories, and for all source-of-payment groups apart from “other.” For mothers younger than 25 years, there was a significant decrease observed in rates. Rates decreased or were unchanged for all categories within characteristics from 2020 through 2021.

“This report shows increasing HCV infection rates for nearly all characteristics examined from 2016 through 2020, and a decline or no change from 2020 through 2021,” the authors write.

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