USPSTF recommends screening all adults for HCV
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued a draft recommendation that encourages clinicians to screen all adults aged 18 to 79 years for hepatitis C virus infection.
The task force also suggests that physicians consider screening patients for HCV who are aged younger than 18 years and older than 79 years if they are at high risk for infection.
The USPSTF reported that in 2016, there were an estimated 41,200 new HCV infections in the United States and that the number of cases of acute HCV infection have increased approximately 3.5-fold over the last 10 years. The increase is largely attributable to young, white people who inject drugs, particularly those who live in rural areas, and a hike in number of women aged 15 to 44 years infected with HCV, according to the task force.
“Today, more people are infected with hepatitis C than there were a decade ago, but there are now better treatments available. The evidence now shows more people can benefit from screening,” Douglas K. Owens, MD, MS, task force chair and general internist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, said in a press release.
The USPSTF’s draft statement and evidence review has been posted for public comment on the USPSTF website: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. Input will be accepted through Sept. 23, 2019, at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tfcomment.htm.
The new “B” recommendation replaces the USPSTF’s 2013 recommendation that clinicians screen patients at high risk for HCV and offer one-time testing to adults born between 1945 and 1965. The CDC currently recommends HCV testing for baby boomers, injection drug users, and recipients of organ transplants or blood transfusions prior to July 1992. – by Janel Miller
Disclosures : Owens reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the USPSTF website for all other task force members’ relevant financial disclosures.