Use of a new model of statistical analysis has revealed regional differences in rates of hepatitis C (HCV) infection in the U.S. According to data published last month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the West census region had the highest rate of HCV infection in 2010, at 2.14%. The lowest regional rate, in the Midwest, was around half the West's rate (1.14%).
Researchers at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employed a newly developed statistical model that integrates several publicly accessible data sources. These include health survey data, death records and U.S. Census data.
The national prevalence rate of HCV infection in 2010 was 1.67%.
“In the absence of a comprehensive national HCV surveillance system, we and our CDC colleagues took the next best approach by synthesizing vast quantities of publicly available data to estimate HCV infection at the state level. These findings can be regularly updated as new data become available,” Emory epidemiologist Eli Rosenberg, PhD, said in a news release.