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Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection are at high risk of being lost to follow-up. Focused interventions can increase linkage to care

Journal Volume 83 - 2020
Issue Fasc.1 - Letters
Author(s) H. Keymeulen 1, H. Van de Velde 1, H. Degroote 1, A. Geerts 1, H. Van Vlierberghe 1, X. Verhelst 1
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Full Article
PAGES 94-94
(1) Ghent University Hospital, Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Ghent, Belgium

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the major causes of chronic liver diseases worldwide(1). The main challenge in HCV treatment today is the identification of undiagnosed and untreated patients (2-4). The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend treating all infected patients, with no exception. Therefore, global goals were drafted; these include a 90% reduction of new contaminations, a 65% reduction in mortality due to HCV and a treatment rate of 80% in chronical infected HCV patients. These goals have to be achieved by 2030(5, 6). The first aim of this work was to study the prevalence of patients who became lost to follow-up before HCV eradication was achieved and to identify risk factors associated with this phenomenon. The second goal was to reach out to lost to follow-up patients in order to identify risk factors for this behavior and try to restore linkage to care. This study was performed in a tertiary liver unit at Ghent University Hospital. All patients who ever visited the outpatient clinic for HCV infection between 2000 and 2017 were eligible. In total 427 patients could be identified with HCV infection.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 32233281