1 Liver Care Network and Organ Transplant Program, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA; Providence Health & Services, Renton, WA, USA.
2 Providence Health & Services, Renton, WA, USA.
3 Liver Care Network and Organ Transplant Program, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA; Providence Health & Services, Renton, WA, USA. Electronic address: Kris.Kowdley@swedish.org.
INTRODUCTION AND AIM:
Real-world epidemiologic data to guide hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related public health initiatives are lacking. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and epidemiological characteristics of a large cohort of patients with an HCV diagnosis evaluated in one of the largest health systems in the United States.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
De-identified demographic and clinical data were extracted from the electronic health record for patients actively followed within the Providence Health & Services health care system. Rates of HCV prevalence and co-morbid illnesses among HCV-infected patients were determined.
Among 2,735,511 active patients, 23,492 (0.86%) were found to have evidence of HCV infection, the majority of which were Caucasian (78.2%) and born between the years 1945 and 1965 (68.3%). In comparison to Caucasians, higher rates of HCV infection were found among Native Americans (2.5% vs. 0.95%, p<0.001). Compared to HCV-negative patients, a greater proportion of HCV-positive patients had diabetes mellitus (18.7 vs. 8.9%, p<0.0001), chronic kidney disease (4.4 vs. 1.8%, p<0.0001), end-stage renal disease necessitating hemodialysis (2.6 vs. 0.6%, p<0.0001), and HIV co-infection (2.4 vs. 0.2, p<0.0001). Nearly two-thirds (62.1%) of HCV patients had government-sponsored insurance, and 93.0% of treated patients resided in urban settings.
The prevalence of HCV infection in this large health care system serving the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and California was lower than prior population-based estimates and may reflect real-world prevalence rates among patients not selected for risk-based screening. Native Americans are disproportionately affected by HCV and may warrant targeted screening.