Awareness of infection, knowledge of hepatitis C, and medical follow-up among individuals testing positive for hepatitis C: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2008
Hepatology, 05/08/2012Denniston MM et al.
The findings suggest that more intensive efforts are needed to identify and test persons at risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
The authors analyzed data from persons who tested positive for past or current HCV infection during participation in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001 through 2008.
A follow-up survey was conducted 6 months after examination to determine :
How many participants testing positive for HCV infection were aware of their HCV status before being notified by NHANES
What actions participants took after becoming aware of their first positive test
Participants' knowledge about hepatitis C.
Of 30,140 participants tested, 393 (1.3%) had evidence of past or current HCV infection and 170 (43%) could be contacted during the follow-up survey and interviewed.
Only 49.7% were aware of their positive HCV infection status before being notified by NHANES, and only 3.7% of these respondents reported that they had first been tested for HCV because they or their doctor thought they were at risk for infection.
Overall, 85.4% had heard of hepatitis C; correct responses to questions about hepatitis C were higher among persons 40-59 years of age, white non-Hispanics, and respondents who saw a physician after their first positive HCV test.
Eighty percent of respondents indicated they had seen a doctor about their first positive HCV test result.
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