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Locations and reasons for initial testing for hepatitis C infection--chronic hepatitis cohort study, United States, 2006-2010.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013.

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes substantial morbidity and mortality in the United States. Testing and treatment of asymptomatic persons might avert progression to more advanced disease. In 1998, CDC published guidelines for HCV testing based on risk factors for infection; however, recent studies indicate that at least one half of all persons living with HCV infection in the United States are unaware of their infection status. To increase testing rates, in 2012 CDC recommended one-time testing of all persons born during 1945-1965. To better understand where and why persons with chronic HCV infection sought their initial testing, 2006-2010 data were analyzed from a survey conducted as part of the ongoing Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study. Of 4,689 patients with HCV infection who responded to the survey, 60.4% reported that their initial HCV test occurred in a physician's office. CDC's risk-based indications (e.g., injection drug use and hemodialysis) were cited by 1,045 (22.3%) of the patients as reasons for testing, whereas clinical indications (e.g., abnormal liver function tests or liver-related symptoms such as jaundice) were cited by 2,121 (45.2%), suggesting that many HCV infections were identified only after the patient had become symptomatic. Promoting U. S. Preventive Services Task Force and CDC recommendations for testing and identifying strategies that help physicians implement HCV testing in their offices might help facilitate timely identification of HCV infection and reduce morbidity and mortality.

PMID

23945771 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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