Friday, February 25. 2011
Recent research regarding patients with hepatitis C has found that they are two-times more likely to not have any type of health insurance compared to those that are not afflicted with the disease.
The study took insurance information from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, from 2005-08. According to the survey, 81 percent of non-HCV infected individuals had health insurance. For those that had HCV, only 61 percent of them were insured.
"A significant number of HCV patients, however, may not even have access to antiviral therapy due to lack of adequate health insurance coverage," said Dr. Zobair Younossi, from the Center of Liver Diseases at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. Younossi was the creator of the study.
HCV can also cause a series of other serious illnesses, including liver cancer and liver disease. Also, HCV causes more liver transplants than anything else.
Younossi added that antiviral therapy is vital to not only living quality, but this type of treatment could improve mortality rates in the afflicted. It costs an estimated $48,000 a year to treat and take care of someone with HCV, according to Wiley-Blackwell.
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