The CDC has issued a report on the most common locations and reasons for undergoing hepatitis C virus testing.
Recommendations for hepatitis C virus testing, which call for one-time testing for all adults born from 1945 through 1965 and for testing as needed for those with established risk factors, can facilitate timely identification of HCV infections and reduce HCV-related morbidity and mortality, according to the CDC.
To better understand where people seek testing for HCV and reasons for testing, researchers analyzed data from the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study, an ongoing study of patients with confirmed infection receiving care at four U.S. healthcare systems.
Of the 4,689 patients who responded to the survey, 60.4% reported initial HCV testing occurred in physicians offices. Other sites were blood banks, clinics (such as prenatal/family planning clinics), hospital inpatient units, insurance exam sites, EDs, prison and the military, according to the report in the Aug. 16 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Regarding reasons for being tested, 45.2% cited clinical indications (abnormal liver function test and liver symptoms such as jaundice), and 22.3% cited CDC risk indications. Among the 1,045 participants citing CDC risk indications, 986 (94.4%) reported injection drug use and the remainder mentioned being on hemodialysis.
Of the respondents, 78.1% were born during 1945-1965. Their reasons for getting tested included clinical indications (46.8%), physician recommendations (36%), CDC risk indications (21.3%) and institutional requirements such as from blood banks or insurance companies (17.4%).
“CDC is identifying strategies to help healthcare providers implement its new HCV testing guidelines, which target all persons born during 1945-1965,” the authors wrote. “These strategies include simplification of HCV testing algorithms in primary care and public health settings, development of national educational strategies for testing those born during 1945-1965, and supporting evidence-based care models that enhance delivery of high-quality HCV assessment and management.”
The authors noted that implementation of CDCs HCV testing recommendations, especially in physicians offices and among the baby boomer population, could help to identify those who are infected earlier in the course of infection to prevent liver cancer and other serious health consequences.
Read the report: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6232a3.htm?s_cid=mm6232a3_w.