Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Saturday, 11 / 16 / 2019

Articles

Hepatitis C Screening: Barriers to Linkage to Care

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Hepatitis C Screening: Barriers to Linkage to Care

Sammy Saab*1,2, Youssef P. Challita1, Lisa M. Najarian1, Rong Guo3, Satvir S. Saggi1 and Gina Choi1,2

1Departments of Surgery, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2Departments of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
3Departments of Medicine Statistics Core, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
*Correspondence to: Sammy Saab, Pfleger Liver Institute, UCLA Medical Center, 200 Medical Plaza, Suite 214, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Tel: +1-310-206-6705, Fax: +1-310-206-4197, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2019;7(3):226-231 DOI: 10.14218/JCTH.2018.00063
Received: December 13, 2018 Accepted: March 1, 2019 Published online: April 12, 2019

Abstract

Background and Aims: Hepatitis C (HCV) is a medical and public health concern. Once infected individuals are identified, management includes not only education but also the use of antiviral therapy. Although screening for HCV is readily available, barriers exist which prevent assessment and treatment in individuals potentially infected with HCV.

Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients screened for HCV within the University of California, Los Angeles Health Care System between February 22 and July 9, 2018. We defined linkage to care as: 1) confirmatory HCV RNA test after screening HCV antibody test found a positive result; and 2) follow-up appointment for treatment was established with a specialist. Demographic and baseline laboratory values were collected. Factors potentially associated with prohibiting linkage of care were evaluated.

Results: During the study period, 17,512 individuals were screened for HCV. A total of 238 (1.35%) were found to have detectable HCV antibodies. Of the individuals with detectable HCV antibodies, 48 (20%) did not undergo confirmatory testing with viral levels. Of the 190 individuals who underwent further testing, 70 patients were noted to be viremic. Among them, 17 of the 70 (24%) were not linked to a specialist for further care. Younger patients (p = 0.02) and people who inject drugs (p = 0.02) were less likely to be referred for specialty care.

Conclusions: The results of our study highlight that younger patients and people who inject drugs are less likely to be referred to specialty care for HCV treatment. Efforts are needed to engage these populations.

Keywords

Hepatitis C, Screening, Linkage

 

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2019 vol. 7, 226-231  [ Html ] [ PDF Full-text ]

© The Authors 2019. This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license.

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