- Baby boomers have the highest prevalence of chronic HCV infection in the U.S., accounting for over 74% of cases.
Why this matters
- Findings warrant optimization of HCV screening and prevention programs among individuals born between 1945 and 1964.
- 1999-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data for 2,347,852 individuals, stratified into 3 age groups: baby boomers (BB), younger generations (YG), and older generations (OG).
- Funding: None.
- Overall prevalence of chronic HCV, 1.19%.
- Prevalence was higher among BB (2.23%) vs YG (0.52%) and OG (0.46%).
- Trend analysis showed highest HCV prevalence overall (1.83%) and among BB (2.71%) in the 2001-2002 cycle.
- BB had more significant predictors of HCV than YG or OG.
- Among BB, the greatest predictor of HCV+ status was current smoking (aOR=7.85; 95% CI, 5.01-12.29). Other factors included:
- Male sex (aOR=2.25; 95% CI, 1.65-3.07),
- Black race (aOR=3.48; 95% CI, 1.75-6.89),
- Positive history of blood transfusion (aOR=2.34; 95% CI, 1.48-3.68),
- Former smoking (aOR=2.73; 95% CI, 1.58-4.71), and
- Living below the poverty line (aOR=1.99; 95% CI, 1.40-2.82).
- The most significant risk factor varied by age group (current smoker in YG and BB; black race in OG).
- Observational design.
- Conducted prior to direct-acting antiviral era.
- Noninstitutionalized population.