LAS VEGAS — The United States Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation to perform hepatitis C virus antibody testing in adults born between 1945 and 1965, also known as baby boomers, is effective for the detection of HCV prevalence in this group, according to findings presented at ACG 2016.
“In January 2013, after performing a systemic review of screening for hepatitis C virus infection in adults in the United States, the United States Preventive Services Task Force issued a grade B recommendation for the screening of persons at high risk for infection and adults in the birth cohort between 1945 and 1965,” Brian D. Liem, DO, third-year Gastroenterology fellow, St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Michigan, said during his presentation. “We evaluated patients in our community hospital that were having outpatient endoscopic procedures to evaluate just the birth cohort population and assess the efficacy and importance of the recommendations put forth by the United States Preventive Services Task Force.”
Brian D. Liem
Liem and colleagues evaluated 1,025 adults living in an urban metro area in the United States and, per the task force recommendations, screened patients born between 1945 and 1965 for HCV via blood test.
“We calculated the prevalence of adults in the birth cohort that tested positive for the antibody, and compared the data to the studies used by the USPSTF in their recommendations,” Liem said.
Twenty patients tested positive for HCV antibody. This yielded a prevalence of 1.95% (95% CI, 1.13-2.77), and a number needed to screen of 51.25, according to Liem.
Researchers did not observe any significant differences in HCV prevalence (P = .37) or number needed to screen (P = .15) compared with the USPSTF study performed in 2006. In addition, there were no differences seen in specific demographics.
Despite the lack of difference (P = .37) comparing the higher prevalence seen in this study, it did confirm a higher prevalence of HCV antibody positivity in the study used by the USPSTF in their recommendations, per the presentation.
Liem noted that in the Affordable Care Act, it is written that any recommendations by the USPSTF that is grade A or B should be covered by insurances as is this recommendation.
“Therefore, this patient population should receive a one-time screening at no cost to patient or provider,” Liem said.
Liem concluded: “This confirmatory study expresses the importance in identifying a specific cohort of people with increased prevalence for hepatitis C virus infection in order to reduce the associated morbidity and mortality associated with the infection, along with the importance of confirmatory studies.” – by Melinda Stevens
Liem BD, et al. Abstract #16. Presented at: American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting; Oct. 14-19, 2016; Las Vegas, NV.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.