Study Finds High Rate of Hepatitis Among Truckers

A study by the New Mexico Department of Health shows there are high rates of hepatitis C infection among truck drivers, and many of them aren't aware they have the disease.

The medical director for the department's Infectious Diseases Bureau, Steve Jenison, says studies in other countries have linked the spread of sexually transmitted disease to long distance truck drivers, but little is known about the industry in the United States.

Jenison says researchers learned that truckers passing through New Mexico don't have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases, but there was a high rate of hepatitis C infection.

Researchers examined sexually transmitted infections, HIV and hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus prevalence and risk behaviors among 652 truck drivers at 11 truck stops in New Mexico between 2004 and 2006.