This is an archive of papers published by the staff and faculty of Fox Chase Cancer Center. For questions about content, please contact Talbot Research Library
Last updated on
Nguyen MT , Herrine SK , Laine CA , Ruth K , Weinberg DS
Description of a new hepatitis c risk assessment tool
Archives of Internal Medicine. 2005 Sep 26;165(17) :2013-2018
AbstractBackground: Because of the low prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the general population, mass screening would be expensive and of low yield. Some researchers advocate targeted screening of persons at elevated HCV risk.Methods: This cross-sectional study aimed to develop a patient-administered tool to assess HCV infection risk. Two hundred seven patients with unknown HCV status from a general medicine practice and 222 HCV-positive patients from a hepatology practice completed a 72-item survey about demographic, social, and clinical risk factors for HCV infection. General medicine patients also underwent HCV serologic testing.Results: Three (1.5%) of 207 general medicine patients had positive HCV antibody test results. These patients plus the 222 hepatology patients were significantly more likely than HCV-negative patients to report an array of factors. In a multivariable model, 7 factors remained significantly associated with HCV infection: sex with a prostit ute or an injecting drug user, exposure to blood products, refusal as a blood donor or as a life insurance applicant, witnessing illicit drug use, and self-reported HBV infection. A simplified model that assigned 1 point for each factor present predicted HCV infection as well as a weighted model (based on chi(2) testing and receiver operating characteristic curve comparison). In a population with a 2% prevalence of HCV infection, people who identified 2 risk factors had a 10% chance of HCV infection, whereas those with 4 or more risk factors had a 50% chance.Conclusions: A self-administered 72-item questionnaire can stratify patients into HCV risk groups. If validated in other primary care populations, this instrument could help target HCV screening.