This study analyses a screening programme for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among US veterans in a suburban Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in New York. This is the first study examining all 11 potential risk factors listed in the 2001 National U.S. Veterans Health Administration Screening Guidelines. A retrospective study was conducted of 5400 veterans ‘at risk’ of HCV, identified through a questionnaire in this institution's primary-care outpatient departments between 1 October 2001 and 31 December 2003. Multivariate logistic regression models were built to identify independent predictors of infection. Of 2282 veterans tested for HCV, 4·6% were confirmed by HCV PCR to be HCV infected. In the multivariate model developed, injection drug use, blood transfusion before 1992, service during the Vietnam era, tattoo, and a history of abnormal liver function tests were independent predictors of HCV infection. Our data support considering a more targeted screening approach that includes five of the 11 risk factors.
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