Analysis of a hepatitis C screening programme for US veterans 1
This study analyses a screening programme for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among US veterans in a suburban Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in New York. This is the first study examining all 11 potential risk factors listed in the 2001 National U.S. Veterans Health Administration Screening Guidelines. A retrospective study was conducted of 5400 veterans ‘at risk’ of HCV, identified through a questionnaire in this institution's primary-care outpatient departments between 1 October 2001 and 31 December 2003. Multivariate logistic regression models were built to identify independent predictors of infection. Of 2282 veterans tested for HCV, 4·6% were confirmed by HCV PCR to be HCV infected. In the multivariate model developed, injection drug use, blood transfusion before 1992, service during the Vietnam era, tattoo, and a history of abnormal liver function tests were independent predictors of HCV infection. Our data support considering a more targeted screening approach that includes five of the 11 risk factors.(Published Online August 18 2005)
(Accepted May 17 2005)
(August 18 2005)
c1 Dept. of Preventive Medicine, HSC Level 3, Rm. 086, SUNY at Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8036, USA. (Email: John.Chen@stonybrook.edu)
1 This study was presented in part at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in Boston, MA, USA.