Risk-based testing for hepatitis C virus in the primary care setting
may have missed more than 80% of patients with hepatitis C virus
antibodies, according to researchers from the CDC.
“This may be due in part to the difficulty in capturing complete
patient risk history (eg, injection drug use) in [electronic medical
records (EMR)] to support the implementation of comprehensive risk-based
HCV testing algorithms,” the researchers wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
“HCV-infected persons who are not aware of their status cannot receive
further clinical evaluation, antiviral treatment, and are unlikely to
benefit from preventive services or secondary prevention
recommendations (eg, reduction in alcohol use and other lifestyle
changes) aimed at limiting disease progression and reducing
liver-related morbidity and mortality.”
The researchers evaluated EMR data from patients enrolled in the
Birth Cohort Evaluation to Advance Screening and Testing for HCV
(BEST-C) study to estimate how many patients with HCV remained
unidentified after risk-based testing in the primary care setting. They
also quantified the prevalence of HCV antibody positivity among
primary care patients and determined predictors of HCV infection.
Labels: risk-based testing, Screening