Diagnosis and 10-year follow-up of a community-based hepatitis C cohort

Barbara P. Yawn, Peter Wollan, Liliana Gazzuola, W. Ray Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the health care follow-up and treatment associated with physician-diagnosed hepatitis C (HCV) in a community-based population. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective medical record review using records from all providers in Olmsted County, Minnesota. POPULATION: The study incorporated all Olmsted County residents with physician-diagnosed hepatitis C from 1990 through 1999. OUTCOMES MEASURED: We assessed demographic and health status information as well as health services use in subjects with physician-diagnosed HCV. RESULTS: Physicians diagnosed hepatitis C in 355 subjects (219 men [62%], 136 women [38%]), mean age 43 years, in the 10-year period studied. About half of diagnoses (45%, n = 159) were confirmed with polymerase chain reaction or liver biopsies. Identified risk factors included IV drug use (50%), multiple sex partners (36%), and blood transfusion (30%). Follow-up assessment with aspartate amino-transferase/amino alanine transferase (AST/ALT) tests occurred in about half (49%) of subjects, while 202 subjects (60%) were referred for gastrointestinal (GI) specialist evaluation and 49 patients (14% of all, 25% of those referred to a GI specialist) had specific treatment for hepatitis C. Although well over half of patients (60%) had possible contraindications to HCV treatment, including heavy alcohol use, few were referred for chemical dependency therapy. CONCLUSIONS: In this community, follow-up and treatment related to HCV were limited. Attention to prevention of disease-accelerating co-infections was only modest. Referral or documented recommendations for treatment of alcoholism or heavy chronic alcohol ingestion were minimal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 18 2002


  • Hepatitis C
  • Population based [non-MeSH]
  • Primary health care
  • Secondary prevention [non-MeSH]

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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