Background: Without diagnosis and antiviral therapy, many patients with chronic hepatitis C infections will develop end-stage liver disease and die from complications.
Aims: To evaluate the future impacts of preventive interventions and treatment advances, this paper forecasts a baseline estimate of the future morbidity and mortality of prevalent hepatitis C when left untreated.
Methods: We simulated the future disease progression and death for all Americans with prevalent hepatitis C in 2005. To validate the model, we used past seroprevalence to forecast contemporary outcomes. We used the validated model to forecast future cases of end-stage liver disease, transplants, and deaths from 2010 to 2060, and we estimated credible intervals using Monte Carlo simulation.
Results: When programmed with past data, our model predicted current levels of hepatitis C outcomes with accuracy between ±1% and 13%. Morbidity and mortality from hepatitis C will rise from 2010 to a peak between the years 2030 and 2035. We forecasted a peak of 38,600 incident cases of end-stage liver disease; 3200 referrals for transplant; and 36,100 deaths.
Conclusions: Because current rates of screening and treatment are low, future morbidity and mortality from hepatitis C are likely to increase substantially without public health interventions to increase treatment.
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