We used a simulation of HCV to estimate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HCV testing strategies: 1) standard of care (SOC) - recommendation for one-time testing for all persons born 1945-1965, 2) recommendation for one-time testing for adults ≥40 years (≥40 strategy), 3) ≥30 years (≥30 strategy), and 4) ≥18 years (≥18 strategy). All strategies assumed targeted testing of high-risk persons. Inputs were derived from national databases, observational cohorts and clinical trials. Outcomes included quality-adjusted life expectancy, costs, and cost-effectiveness.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend one-time hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing for persons born 1945-1965 and targeted testing for high-risk persons. This strategy targets HCV testing to a prevalent population at high risk for HCV morbidity and mortality, but does not include younger populations with high incidence. To address this gap and improve access to HCV testing, age-based strategies should be considered.
Expanded age-based testing strategies increased US population lifetime case identification and cure rates. Greatest increases were observed in the ≥18 strategy. Compared to the SOC, this strategy resulted in an estimated 256,000 additional infected persons identified and 280,000 additional cures at the lowest cost per QALY gained (ICER = $28,000/QALY).
In addition to risk-based testing, one-time HCV testing of persons 18 and older appears to be cost-effective, leads to improved clinical outcomes and identifies more persons with HCV than the current birth cohort recommendations. These findings could be considered for future recommendation revisions.
Barocas JA, Tasillo A, Eftekhari Yazdi G, Wang J, Vellozzi C, Hariri S, Isenhour C, Randall L, Ward JW, Mermin J, Salomon JA, Linas BP. (2018). Population-level Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness of Expanding the Recommendation for Age-based Hepatitis C Testing in the United States. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 67(4)