New Drugs & Tests Could Make Hep C a Rare Disease

Published 08/04 2014 03:11PM

Updated 08/04 2014 05:56PM

PITTSBURGH - Pitt researchers say new screening guidelines and improved drugs could help make hepatitis C a rare disease in this country. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health helped analyze the effect of new testing and medication on hep C, the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and one of the main reasons people need a liver transplant.

The researchers say their study suggests that by 2036 hep C will be  rare disease in U.S. affecting , one in 1500 people. Right now, one in 100 Americans have it.

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 - encompassing about 81 percent of chronically infected people - receive a one-time screening for hepatitis C. Hepatitis C often is asymptomatic, meaning that infected people do not know they have it until it is detected through a blood screening.

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