Hepatitis C

Today's health problems are tomorrow's health crises

Data: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The health troubles we're seeing now — especially among young people — will continue to strain the system for years and even decades to come.

The big picture: Rising obesity rates now will translate into rising rates of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The costs of the opioid crisis will continue to mount even after the acute crisis ends. And all of this will strain what’s already the most expensive health care system in the world.

Opioid crisis drives spike in Hepatitis C among pregnant women

Hepatitis C virus
Hepatitis C virus. Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The rate of pregnant women with Hepatitis C was 5 times higher in 2015 than in 2000 due to the substantial level of opioid abuse in the U.S., according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday.

The big picture: 68% of pregnant women with Hepatitis C have opioid use disorder. Overall cases of the virus almost tripled in the past few years, an effect of the opioid crisis and the unsanitary use of needles by drug users, CDC previously reported.