Hepatitis C is the most common
blood-borne infection in the United States. It affects about 3.2 million
people in the U.S. and 170 million people worldwide.1, 2
It is not
always clear how a person becomes infected with hepatitis C. But it is
At least 3 out of 4 people (75%) who get hepatitis C
are those who have been repeatedly exposed to infected blood. These include
injection drug users, people with hemophilia who were treated with blood clotting factors before 1987, and people who received blood transfusions before 1992.
Between 10% and 20% of
people who have received hemodialysis for kidney problems are infected with
Between 1% and 10% of people with chronic hepatitis C are infected because of
high-risk sexual behavior.
About 1% of people, such as health care
workers, become infected through accidental exposure to infected blood.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Hepatitis C. In
LK Pickering et al., eds., Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 28th ed., pp. 357–360. Elk Grove Village, IL: American
Academy of Pediatrics.
O'Leary JG, Davis GL (2010). Hepatitis C.
In M Feldman et al., eds., Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 9th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1313–1335.
Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
July 6, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 06, 2011
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