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USPSTF Advises Broader Age Range for Hep C Screening

TUESDAY, Aug. 27, 2019 -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection screening for individuals aged 18 to 79 years. These recommendations form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online Aug. 27 by the USPSTF.

Roger Chou, M.D., from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the evidence on screening for HCV infection in asymptomatic adults and adolescents.

The researchers found that no new studies examined the benefits of screening versus no screening. Based on 49 trials, direct-acting antiviral regimens correlated with pooled sustained virologic response (SVR) rates, ranging from 95.5 to 98.9 percent across genotypes; the SVR rates were similar in adolescents and adults. The rates of serious adverse events and withdrawal due to adverse events were low (1.9 and 0.4 percent, respectively). Compared with no SVR, SVR after antiviral treatment correlated with a reduced risk for all-cause mortality, liver mortality, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (pooled hazard ratios, 0.40, 0.11, 0.36, and 0.29, respectively) after adjustment for potential confounders. Based on these findings, the USPSTF concluded with moderate certainty that screening has substantial net benefit for asymptomatic adults ages 18 to 79 years without known liver disease (B recommendation).

The draft recommendation statement and evidence review have been posted for public comment. Comments can be submitted from Aug. 27 to Sept. 23, 2019.

Draft Recommendation Statement
Draft Evidence Review
Comment on Recommendations

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Posted: August 2019