Most Children Born to Hepatitis C-Positive Mothers Don't Get Tested

Article

Vertical transmission, or the spread of infection from mother to baby during childbirth, is the most common way that children get hepatitis C. However, it turns out that these children are rarely tested for the disease.

pediatrics, hospital medicine, infectious disease, hepatitis C, OBGYN, women’s health, gastroenterology, hepatology

Vertical transmission, or the spread of infection from mother to baby during childbirth, is the most common way that children get hepatitis C. However, it turns out that these children are rarely tested for the disease.

About 5% of children born to mothers with hepatitis C end up developing the chronic condition themselves. Researchers from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health investigated the testing rate of children born to infected mothers and documented the analysis in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The team looked at 8,119 women with hepatitis C, ages 12 to 54. From this cohort, 500 women gave birth to at least one child from 2011 to 2013. A total of 55,623 children were born in Philadelphia during this time span, and 537 of them (1%) were born to mothers with hepatitis C.

  • Click Here for the Latest Hepatitis C News from MD Magazine

Out of the 537 kids, only 84 (16%) were tested for hepatitis C — four of which ended up being confirmed cases. Based on those numbers, the researchers believe that an additional 24 children in the group have chronic hepatitis C, but they were not tested within 20 months of age.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for uncovering hepatitis C testing practices, but it’s fair to say that if these are only the findings in Philadelphia, there’s many more infected children who could be getting treatment.

“To successfully identify all HCV-infected children and integrate them into HCV-specific care, practices for HCV screening of pregnant women and their children should be improved,” the authors advised.

What to Read Next >>> Low Percentage of Patients Screened for Hepatitis C at Community Health Centers

Related Videos
Anthony Lembo, MD | Credit: Cleveland Clinic
Prashant Singh, MD | Credit: University of Michigan
Noa Krugliak Cleveland, MD | Credit: University of Chicago
Ali Rezaie, MD | Credit: X
Remo Panaccione, MD | Credit: University of Calgary
Francisca Joly, MD, PhD | Credit: The Transplantation Society
Paul Feuerstadt, MD | Yale School of Medicine
| Image Credit: LinkedIn
Oriana Damas, MD | Credit University of Miami
Ali Rezaie, MD | Credit: X
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.