HCV diagnosed incident cases will substantially increase following updated guidelines

According to new guidelines published by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening will now expand to include all adults ages 18 to 79 years, effectively replacing the 2013 recommendations which limited screening to only high-risk individuals and adults born between 1945 and 1965. With the expanded screening criteria, the number of truly diagnosed incident cases will substantially increase over the next five years, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The updated recommendations come in response to the opioid crisis paired with the high proportion of undiagnosed asymptomatic cases, both of which have driven a significant increase in new cases over the past several years.

According to estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), new cases of HCV have increased from approximately 30,000 cases in 2013 to 45,000 cases in 2017; a startling 50% increase over a five-year period.

Natasha Karim, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments:“With these numbers in mind, it is important to note that the CDC estimates adjust for under-reporting and under-ascertainment, and therefore represent the total incident population of HCV (both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases). The true number of newly diagnosed cases of HCV is far lower due to a high proportion of individuals who present as asymptomatic, and are unaware of their infection status.

“The higher screening uptake will serve to more accurately identify the true burden of HCV, allow for earlier disease detection and improve HCV health outcomes in the US.”

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