Reported Prevalence of Maternal Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the United States

Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Feb;135(2):387-395. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003644.


Objective: To quantify the reported prevalence and trend of maternal hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the United States (2009-2017) and identify maternal characteristics and obstetric outcomes associated with HCV infection during pregnancy.

Methods: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of all live births in the United States for the period 2009 through 2017 using National Center for Health Statistics birth records. We estimated reported prevalence and trends over this time period for the United States. We also evaluated demographic factors and pregnancy outcomes associated with maternal HCV infection for a contemporary U.S. cohort (2014-2017).

Results: During the 9-year study period, there were 94,824 reported cases of maternal HCV infection among 31,207,898 (0.30%) live births in the United States. The rate of maternal HCV infection increased from 1.8 cases per 1,000 live births to 4.7 cases per 1,000 live births (relative risk [RR] 2.7, 95% CI 2.6-2.8) in the United States. After adjusting for various confounders in the contemporary U.S. cohort (2014-2017), demographic characteristics associated with HCV infection included non-Hispanic white race (adjusted RR 2.8, 95% CI 2.7-2.8), Medicaid insurance (adjusted RR 3.3, CI 3.2-3.3), and cigarette smoking (adjusted RR 11.1, CI 10.9-11.3). Co-infection during pregnancy with hepatitis B (adjusted RR 19.2, CI 18.1-20.3), gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis were also associated with maternal HCV infection. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes associated with maternal HCV infection included cesarean delivery, preterm birth, maternal intensive care unit admission, blood transfusion, having small-for-gestational-age neonates (less than the 10th percentile) birth weight, neonatal intensive care unit admission, need for assisted neonatal ventilation, and neonatal death.

Conclusion: The reported prevalence of maternal HCV infection has increased 161% from 2009 to 2017.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Gestational Age
  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis B / complications
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Live Birth / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult