Hepatitis C is a major public health and financial issue in health care. On March 17, 1999, a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Hepatitis C Surveillance Day (HepCSD) was undertaken as an administrative tool to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C antibody positivity in the population served by the VHA for purposes of resource needs allocation and cost projections. This was accomplished using blood from patients who were to have blood drawn for any other purpose. Data were gathered using a national electronic data-extraction system. Of 26,102 tests for hepatitis C virus antibody (HCVAb) performed that day, 1,724 were positive for HCVAb (6.6%). The mean age was 53.8 years, 58.7% were from the Vietnam era, 46% reported as white non-Hispanic, 29% reported as black non-Hispanic, and 97.4% were male. Compared with those who agreed to be tested and who were not seropositive for HCVAb and all persons having contact with the VHA on HepCSD, those who were HCVAb positive were more likely to be younger, black non-Hispanic, and to have served during the Vietnam era. The VHA has identified a target population for further screening and intervention efforts for hepatitis C.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Sep 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health