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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Liver function tests in primary care provide a key opportunity to diagnose and engage patients with hepatitis C
Author(s): McLeod, Allan
Hutchinson, Sharon J
Weir, Amanda
Barclay, Stephen
Schofield, Joe
Frew Gillespie, C
Goldberg, David J
Heydtmann, Mathis
Wilson-Davies, Eleri
Issue Date: 27-Jun-2022
Date Deposited: 29-Jun-2022
Citation: McLeod A, Hutchinson SJ, Weir A, Barclay S, Schofield J, Frew Gillespie C, Goldberg DJ, Heydtmann M & Wilson-Davies E (2022) Liver function tests in primary care provide a key opportunity to diagnose and engage patients with hepatitis C. Epidemiology and Infection.
Abstract: Since the advent of direct acting antiviral therapy, elimination of hepatitis c virus (HCV) as a public health concern is now possible. However, identification of those who remain undiagnosed, and re-engagement of those who are diagnosed but remain untreated, will be essential to achieve this. We examined the extent of HCV infection among individuals undergoing liver function tests (LFT) in primary care. Residual biochemistry samples for 6007 patients, who had venous blood collected in primary care for LFT between July 2016 and January 2017, were tested for HCV antibody. Through data linkage to national and sentinel HCV surveillance databases, we also examined extent of diagnosed infection, attendance at specialist service and HCV treatment for those found to be HCV positive. Overall HCV antibody prevalence was 4.0% and highest for males (5.0%), those aged 37-50 years (6.2%), and with an ALT result of 70 or greater (7.1%). Of those testing positive, 68.9% had been diagnosed with HCV in the past, 84.9% before the study period. Most (92.5%) of those diagnosed with chronic infection had attended specialist liver services and while 67.7% had ever been treated only 38% had successfully cleared infection. More than half of HCV positive people required assessment, and potentially treatment, for their HCV infection but were not engaged with services during the study period. LFT in primary care are a key opportunity to diagnose, re-diagnose and re-engage patients with HCV infection and highlight the importance of GPs in efforts to eliminate HCV as a public health concern.
DOI Link: 10.1017/s0950268822000978
Rights: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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