People with hepatitis C have a life expectancy 15 years shorter than those without the virus, according to studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as reported in Hep Magazine. The study also shows that hepatitis C is vastly underreported as a cause of death.
Hepatitis C damages the liver, but because it often has no symptoms, many people with the virus are unaware of it until permanent damage is done. An individual's life expectancy with hepatitis C depends on how much liver damage he has sustained and how he responds to treatment, as Healthline reports. Approximately 75 to 85 percent of people who are infected with hepatitis C develop the chronic form of the disease, which is associated with cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.