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Research finds targeted screening for hepatitis C is cost-effective
Date:4/24/2013

CINCINNATIResearchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that targeted screening for populations with a higher estimated prevalence for hepatitis C may be cost-effective.

These findings, published in the April 24, 2013, online edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, indicate that targeted screening for chronic hepatitis C virus infection is cost-effective when the prevalence of hepatitis C in a population exceeds 0.84 percent (84/10,000).

The study further demonstrates how a screening tool, which can be incorporated into an electronic health record, can target such patients and help in preventing the spread of the illness.

Mark Eckman, MD, Alice Margaret Posey Professor of Internal Medicine, professor in the division of general internal medicine and UC Health physician, and Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, Robert & Helen Gould Endowed Chair, professor in the division of digestive diseases and UC Health physician, co-authored the study.

"Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States and will become an increasing source of morbidity and mortality with aging of the infected population," says Sherman, adding that hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to inflammation of the liver and can be spread through exchange of bodily fluids with an infected person.

"Our objective in this study was to develop decision analytic models, exploring the cost-effectiveness of screening in populations with varying prevalence of hepatitis C and risks for liver fibrosisor scarringin those with the illness who do not receive treatment. Liver fibrosis results in a damaged liver, and the patient eventually needs a transplant, increasing cost of care."

Researchers developed a computerized Markov state transition modela mathematical framework for modeling decision-making in situations where outcomes are partly due to chance and partly under the control of a decision makerto
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Contact: Katie Pence
katie.pence@uc.edu
513-558-4561
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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