Fewer Baby Boomers Screened for Hep C Than Originally Thought
Although the rate of screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) among baby boomers is thought to be approximately 12%, new research indicates that only a fraction of these patients actually undergo screening for the virus.
In a study of 156,713 US patients, only 4.7% of baby boomers were screened for HCV. Investigators found that screening rates were even lower in all other age groups assessed.
These findings “suggest an urgent need for effective interventions to increase HCV screening,” the investigators wrote.
The study, which was presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo, included patients born before 1945, between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomers), 1966 to 1985, and after 1985 (average ages: 23.4 years, 40.1 years, 60.4 years, and 78.0 years, respectively).
Data were obtained from electronic health records (EHRs) from August 2015 to July 2017. Frequency distributions and logistic regression were used to compare groups.
Of note, patients with private insurance were more likely to be screened for HCV compared with patients with Medicare (odds ratio [OR] 0.6) or military insurance (OR 0.4).
Screening was also found to be more likely among patients living with someone with hepatitis (OR 6.9) or who were HIV-positive (OR 10.34).
Kasting M, Reich R, Duong L, et al. HCV screening in primary care: An EHR-based review of rates by birth cohort. Paper presented at: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo. November 10-14, 2018. San Diego, CA.