Aging baby boomers make up the greatest demand for hepatitis C–related liver transplantations in the United States, according to research published in the December issue of Liver Transplantation and presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The study found that the increased demand for liver transplants is driven by Americans born between 1941 and 1960, but it speculated that the demand might taper in the future as the population continues to age and is no longer healthy enough for transplants.

Researchers analyzed data on adults registered with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) between 1995 and 2010. They found 126,862 new candidates for a first liver transplant, 41 percent of whom had hepatitis C virus (HCV). The highest concentration of hep C among these candidates, divided by birth year in descending order of prevalence, was among those born between 1951 and 1955, 1956 and 1960, 1946 and 1950, and 1941 and 1945, respectively. These groups made up 81 percent of the new liver transplant applicants with hep C.

Between 2000 and 2010, those HCV-infected Americans born between 1941 and 1960 who also have hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer, experienced a four-fold increase in liver transplant applications.

To read the news release via the AlphaGalileo Foundation, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.