High prevalence of hepatitis C (HCV) in the emergency department (ED) of a London hospital: should we be screening for HCV in ED attendees?
2837 - 2840
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An unlinked anonymous study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in emergency department (ED) attendees at a London Hospital. Nine hundred and ninety-seven samples collected over a 12-day period were tested for HCV antibody (Ab) and reactive samples were further tested for HCV RNA. The HCV seroprevalence was 2·6% (26/997) with 1·2% (12/997) HCV RNA positive. A peak HCV RNA-positive prevalence of 4·8% (3/63) was found in males aged 35-44 years, this was compared to 0% (0/136) in males aged <35 years (P = 0·0614) and 1·4% (4/278) in males aged ⩾45 years (P = 0·2415). Assuming the cost for HCV Ab is £6 and HCV RNA is £40 per test, screening ED attendees aged 25-54 years would cost £360 per viraemic infection and identify 82% of those who were HCV RNA positive, yielding the most favourable cost/benefit ratio. HCV screening of ED attendees aged 25-54 years in this population could be an effective way of identifying patients and limit onward transmission.
AuthorsOrkin, C; Leach, E; Flanagan, S; Wallis, E; Ruf, M; Foster, GR; Tong, CYW
- College Publications