Epidemiology and Infection

Analysis of a hepatitis C screening programme for US veterans 1

I. A. ZUNIGA a1, J. J. CHEN a1c1, D. S. LANE a1, J. ALLMER a2 and V. E. JIMENEZ-LUCHO a2a3
a1 Department of Preventive Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA
a2 Northport VA Medical Center, East Northport, NY, USA
a3 Division of Infectious Diseases, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA

Article author query
zuniga ia   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
chen jj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lane ds   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
allmer j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
jimenez-lucho ve   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


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.