A significant proportion of people with undiagnosed hepatitis C virus (HCV) likely have advanced liver disease and are in relatively urgent need of treatment, aidsmap reports. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of participants in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) and presented their findings at the 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria.

Out of 62,000 adults in NHANES, 45,000 have been tested for hep C. A total of 420 have chronic hep C, of whom 417 had AST and ALT liver enzyme measurements (which help indicate liver health) and 163 had responded to questions about their hep C awareness.

Forty-nine percent of the 163 individuals did not previously know they had hep C.

A respective 14.5 percent, 40.3 percent, 45.2 percent of those who knew they were HCV-positive had a high, intermediate and low probability of having advanced fibrosis. Among those who did not know they had hep C, a respective 19.1 percent, 30.9 percent and 50 percent had a high, intermediated and low probability of having advanced fibrosis.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.