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Epidemiology of HCV-Related Renal Disease

Paul Eggers, PhD

Very little is known about the course of disease of hepatitis C in the general population. The NHANES III estimates that about 2 percent of the population carries hepatitis C, and about 1 percent of the aged population (over 65).

Using a previously validated method (Hebert, et al 1999, USRDS 2002) we identified persons with evidence of hepatitis C from a 5 percent sample of Medicare beneficiaries in the time period 1996 through 1998. Demographic characteristics of this population were identified and outcomes were identified.

Nearly 3,500 aged persons were identified as having evidence of HCV. The age, sex, and race distribution of these persons was consistent with NHANES estimates. However, the sensitivity of the identification was not strong. An examination of lab tests and interferon during the year HCV was diagnosed suggests that very few of these persons are being worked up and almost none are receiving interferon. A high percent of these persons have evidence of chronic kidney disease or AIDS. The mortality rate is roughly twice that of the general Medicare population.


1. Hebert Pi, Geiss IS, Tierney EF, Engelgau MM, Yawn BP, McBean AM, Identifying persons with diabetes using Medicare claims data, Am J Med Qual 1999:14(6): 270-6

2. U.S. Renal Data System USRDS 2002 Annual Data Report: Atlas of End- Stage Renal Disease in the United States, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, 2002.

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