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The number of Americans hospitalized with hepatitis A infections has decreased notably in recent years, according to a study published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Appearing in the November issue, the study shows a major decline in hospitalizations from hepatitis A infections in the U.S. between 2002 and 2011. Led by Melissa Collier, MD, of the division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC in Atlanta, the study shows the rate of hospitalization for HAV infection as a principal diagnosis decreased from 0.72 to 0.29 per 100,000 cases. During the study period, the average age of hospitalized patients rose from 38 to 46 years, with the number of hepatitis A-related hospitalizations covered by Medicare also rising from 12% to 23%, the study stated. Researchers looked at trends in hepatitis A-related hospitalizations in the U.S. and used National Inpatient Survey discharge data to identify patients hospitalized for primary hepatitis A in the U.S. between 2002 and 2011.

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