Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are leading causes of chronic liver disease, which is the main cause of deaths, especially among baby boomers in the United States.

Recorded deaths from HBV had increased significantly between 1999 and 2007. The deaths from HCV and HBV disproportionately occurred in middle-aged persons born in between 1945 and 1965.

Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis were listed among the 15 leading causes of death in the U.S. multiple-cause mortality data from 1999 to 2007.

The study is published in the Feb. 21 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. 

Researchers have found that the groups that were more likely to have an HBV-related death included decedents aged between 45 and 64.

Recent trends are showing a decline rate of death associated with HBV but an increase in deaths associated with HCV through 2004. Models have also predicted a two-fold increase in HCV-related deaths, with could direct medical costs exceeding $6.7 billion between 2010 and 2019.

A recent report published in the Institute of Medicine focused on low awareness and knowledge of viral hepatitis among the public and health care providers.

There are inadequate investments in prevention and care services, resulting in missed opportunities to prevent transmission and disease.