Impact of Birth Cohort Screening for Hepatitis C
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- Asrani, S.K. & Davis, G.L. Curr Gastroenterol Rep (2014) 16: 381. doi:10.1007/s11894-014-0381-5
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Hepatitis C (HCV) is a leading cause of liver-related complications, and the burden of liver disease is expected to increase. Given the over-representation of HCV-related liver disease in persons born between 1945 and 1965, and the failure of risk-based screening to identify many infected persons, birth cohort screening has been advocated and endorsed by both the Centers for Disease Control and United States Preventive Services Task Force, regardless of the presence of risk factors. Birth cohort testing is more cost-effective than risk-based screening especially when those with more advanced disease are given priority for treatment. Several barriers exist at the patient and provider level that need to be overcome to fully realize the potential benefit of birth cohort screening in reducing HCV-related morbidity and mortality.