Only one in five deaths of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) receives a listing of the virus on the death certificate, Healio reports. Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers compared mortality data in the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS) with data from the Multiple Cause of Death (MCOD) database.  

Between 2006 and 2010, a total of 11,703 people in the CHeCS had hep C; among them, 1,590 (14 percent) died. The average age at death was 59 years old, compared with 74 years old among the 12 million deaths registered by the MCOD database.

The age-adjusted death rate among those with hep C in the CHeCS cohort was 12,854 per 100,00 people, compared with a rate of just 1,046 among those in the MCOD. Only 19 percent (306) of those with diagnosed hep C had the virus listed on their death certificates. Just under half (752) of the deaths were related to liver problems. Sixty percent of those who died had chronic liver disease; 76 percent had moderate fibrosis; and 60 percent had cirrhosis.

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