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Using the endoscopy suite of an urban medical center for efficient identification of patients with HCV and linkage to care


Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Open Access
Ahmad Abu-Heija, Bashar Mohamad, Maher Tama, Pradeep Kathi, Mustafa Nayeem, Mowyad Khalid, Zaid Kaloti, Raya Kutaimy, Paul Naylor, Murray Ehrinpreis, Milton Mutchnick

Abstract

Introduction: Since cancer screening by colonoscopy is recommended for patients in a similar age cohort as recommended for HCV screening, we tested the hypothesis that determining the HCV status of colonoscopy patients in an open access primarily African American (AA) endoscopy suite, could yield an increase in the number of patients identified with HCV infection and subsequently linked to care.
Methods: Colonoscopy patients in the HCV age cohort seen in 2014 (n=444) and 2017 (n=544) ) were evaluated determine if patients were tested for HCV and the result of the test.
Results: The patients were 75% AA and the percentage with an antibody test was 32% in 2014 and 43% in 2017. If tested, the HCV antibody positive rate was high (43% and 32% respectively). AA patients in 2014 were more likely to be positive than non-AA individuals (49% vs 24%) as compared to 2017 (32% vs 30%). Only half of the HCV positive patients were treated or were pending treatment (2014=59%; 2017=52%).
Conclusions: This study confirmed that testing for HCV in colonoscopy patients in a high AA population center can identify significant number of patients who have not been tested and/or treated for HCV.

Keywords

HCV screening, colonoscopy, hepatocellular carcinoma, chronic hepatitis C, primary care physicians

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