USPSTF hepatitis C screening recommendations for baby-boomers!

By: Reza Karimianpour.

Last month, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a statement regarding hepatitis C screening recommendations for the baby-boomer generation (persons born between the years 1945 – 1965), and high-risk persons based on two systematic reviews of data collected since the last update in recommendations in 2004. 

In the newly released statement, the USPSTF recommends offering a one-time screening option to persons of the baby-boomer generation (born between the years 1945 and 1965). This recommendation is made because persons of this generation may have either received a blood transfusion before mandated HCV-screening of blood products in 1992, or because they have a history of other risk factors decades earlier. This new recommendation is a Grade B recommendation.[1]

Recommendation grading is listed below: [2]

A. The USPSTF strongly recommends that clinicians provide [the service] to eligible patients. The USPSTF found good evidence that [the service] improves important health outcomes and concludes that benefits substantially outweigh harms.

B. The USPSTF recommends that clinicians provide [this service] to eligible patients. The USPSTF found at least fair evidence that [the service] improves important health outcomes and concludes that benefits outweigh harms.

C. The USPSTF makes no recommendation for or against routine provision of [the service]. The USPSTF found at least fair evidence that [the service] can improve health outcomes but concludes that the balance of benefits and harms is too close to justify a general recommendation.

D. The USPSTF recommends against routinely providing [the service] to asymptomatic patients. The USPSTF found at least fair evidence that [the service] is ineffective or that harms outweigh benefits.

I. The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routinely providing [the service]. Evidence that the [service] is effective is lacking, of poor quality, or conflicting and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined.

The USPSTF also recommends screening for high risk individuals. Risks include blood transfusion before the year 1992, past or current IV drug use, long-term hemodialysis, born to HCV-positive mothers, intranasal drug use, incarceration, or percutaneous exposure such as un-regulated tattoos.

A clinical chart for hepatitis C screening and prevention is provided below courtesy of the USPSTF:

Disclaimer:  Please note that the information above has been obtained from multiple sources for the sole purpose of student education and should not be used in the direct care of patients and/or clinical decision making.

References:

1) http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1700383

2) http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/3rduspstf/ratings.htm

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