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Eur J Epidemiol. 2001;17(1):47-51.

Prevalence of hepatitis C infection among general practice patients in the Lyon area, France.

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  • 1Department of Hepatology, Hôtel-Dieu, Lyon, France.



To estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients in general practices.


A screening campaign requested by the French Health Insurance Fund and involving 271 general practitioners (GPs) and 96% of the 95 medical laboratories was conducted in the Lyon area. Each GP participated for one week and offered an HCV screening to all patients aged 18-69 years during this period. Risk factors were estimated by a medical questionnaire (MQ) filled in by the physician.


From May to October 1997, 11,805 subjects were recruited into the study. Among them, 101 were known HCV positive. The MQ was filled up in 86% of the 11,704 remaining patients. Only 59% of those (6876/11,704) went to a laboratory to be tested. Fifty-one were ELISA positive of whom 30 were confirmed by RIBA or PCR. If we add 101 patients that were known HCV positive and estimate the prevalence among patients who did not go to the laboratory, this study gives a total estimated prevalence of 1.3%.


The prevalence of HCV infection among patients of GPs is about 1.3%, very close to the estimate in the French general population. The substantial number of patients known HCV positive is probably related to the participation of GPs sensitised to HCV issues and who already have screened most of their HCV patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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