The hepatitis C infection rate among women giving birth rose 400% between 2000 and 2015 to 4.1 per 1,000 deliveries, according to a study of hospital discharge data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate was much higher among women with opioid use disorder (216.9 per 1,000 deliveries), suggesting a link between the increase and the opioid crisis, the authors said. The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommend hepatitis C screening for all pregnant women. “Although treatment of HCV infection with direct-acting antiviral agents during pregnancy is not approved, testing remains important to identify infections, engage infected women in postpartum treatment, and identify infants who might have been exposed,” the report notes.

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