CDC Says U.S. Has Improved in Detection of Hep C Infection
(HealthDay News) – Guidelines published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1998 to test people for hepatitis C infection (HCV) based on risk may have increased testing, but many people still did not get tested before showing signs of the infection, according to a report published in the Aug. 16 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
To get a better understanding of where and why people undergo an initial HCV test, Stephen C. Ko, MD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from a portion of the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study.
The researchers found that, between 2006 and 2010, 60.4% of the 4,689 HCV patients who responded to a survey in the study had their initial HCV test in a physician's office; 2,121 (45.2%) reported that clinical indications, such as jaundice, prompted them to be tested, suggesting they were symptomatic when their infection was identified. The CDC now recommends a one-time test for all people born between 1945 and 1965.
"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," the authors write.