Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Annals of Internal Medicine publishes new CDC recommendations on hepatitis C screening

August 17, 2012
Without other risk factors, all Americans born between 1945 and 1965 should have a one-time screening for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) according to new recommendations being published early online today in Annals of Internal Medicine, the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that all persons identified with HCV should receive a brief alcohol screening and intervention and be referred to appropriate care and treatment services for HCV and related conditions.

Up to 3.9 million people in the United States are infected with HCV, a virus that can cause inflammation and permanent liver damage. The infection is most prevalent among people born from 1945 through 1965, and approximately 50 to 75 percent of those with HCV are unaware that they are infected. This is a problem because HCV progresses slowly, and the risk of serious complications increases as time passes.

The recommendation developers sought to identify testing strategies that would increase the proportion of HCV-infected persons who know their status. In particular, whether a testing strategy based on year of birth would identify persons living with HCV infection who have not been identified by risk-based testing. They conducted a systematic review of evidence published between 1995 and February 2012 to assess the prevalence of HCV and clinical outcomes. They found that the proportion of people born between 1945 and 1965 with HCV antibody was higher than that of the general population. Among that cohort, the recommendation authors found strong evidence that achieving sustained virologic response (SVR) was associated with reduced risk for death and liver cancer.

The CDC recommends that persons identified with HCV have a brief alcohol screening and intervention, as alcohol use has been shown to accelerate the progression of liver disease. The recommendation authors considered evidence from a systematic review of 22 randomized, controlled trials published since 2010 to determine the effects of a brief alcohol intervention versus no intervention on reduction of alcohol use. The research showed that patients who had a brief alcohol reduction intervention reduced their weekly alcohol consumption by an average of 38.42 grams compared with those who had no intervention.

Previously, the CDC recommended antibody screening only of individuals with health or lifestyle indicators suggesting potential infection. These indicators include a history of injecting drugs, having a blood transfusion before 1992, or being a chronic hemodialysis patient. Low case identification may result from the difficulty of implementing risk-based screening given the limited time of primary care visits and unease in discussing behavioral risks.

American College of Physicians


Related Hepatitis C Current Events and Hepatitis C News Articles


New pill regimens published in The Lancet cure hardest-to-treat hepatitis C patients
Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the Texas Liver Institute and other institutions have identified a combination of pills that cures 9 of 10 hepatitis C patients.

Forced mutations doom HIV
Fifteen years ago, MIT professor John Essigmann and colleagues from the University of Washington had a novel idea for an HIV drug. They thought if they could induce the virus to mutate uncontrollably, they could force it to weaken and eventually die out - a strategy that our immune system uses against many viruses.

New oral drug regimens cure hardest-to-treat hepatitis C
Two new pill-only antiviral drug regimens could provide shorter, more effective treatment options with fewer side effects for the majority of patients infected with hepatitis C, even those most difficult to treat, according to the results of two studies published in The Lancet.

Hepatitis C virus genotype 1 is most prevalent worldwide
In one of the largest prevalence studies to date, researchers from the U.K. provide national, regional, and global genotype prevalence estimates for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Miriam Hospital physician advocates awareness, collaboration to combat peaking hep C virus
Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., director of The Miriam Hospital's HIV/Viral Hepatitis Coinfection program, states in the July, 2014 Rhode Island Medical Journal special edition, "RI Defeats Hep C" that eliminating hepatitis c virus infection (hep c or HCV) is feasible, can provide economic benefits, enhance capacity to address other health challenges, and improve health care disparities.

Combination antiretroviral therapy helps treat HCV in patients co-infected with HIV
Treatment of HIV patients co-infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) with an anti-retroviral drug therapy not only tackles HIV, but also reduces HCV replication, according to a new study lead by a University of Cincinnati researcher.

Combination treatment for Hep C associated with favorable response among patients with HIV
HIV-infected patients also infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) who received a combination of the medications sofosbuvir plus ribavirin had high rates of sustained HCV virologic response 12 weeks after cessation of therapy.

Hepatitis C cured in co-infected HIV patients
A multicenter team of researchers report that in a phase III clinical trial, a combination drug therapy cures chronic hepatitis C in the majority of patients co-infected with both HIV and hepatitis C.

Transmission of hepatitis C virus following antiviral treatment
Millions of people throughout the world are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Left untreated, infection results in serious complications such as cirrhosis of the liver and cancer.

Emerging HIV epidemics among people who inject drugs in the Middle East and North Africa
HIV epidemics are emerging among people who inject drugs in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
More Hepatitis C Current Events and Hepatitis C News Articles

© 2014 BrightSurf.com