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|Title:||How are HCV-infected patients being identified in Brazil: a multicenter study|
|Author:||Portari-Filho, Luiz H.|
Álvares-da-Silva, Mario R.
Ferreira, Adalgisa P.
Villela-Nogueira, Cristiane A.
Mendes-Correa, Maria C.
Lima, José M.
Lopes, Edmundo P.
Brandão, Carlos E.
Ferraz, Maria L.
|Abstract:||Hepatitis C is an important health problem. In Brazil, 1–2 million people are infected. Despite this expressive number, and the availability of very successful treatment, many patients remained undiagnosed mainly because of the asymptomatic nature of the infection. Objectives: To describe epidemiological characteristics of HCV-infected patients seen at referral centers in Brazil, the source of referral, and the time spanned to reach a reference center, in order to improve the identification of undiagnosed patients. Methods: Multicenter observational, cross-sectional study carried out in 15 centers of Brazil, between January/2016 and June/2017. Data of patients with a confirmed diagnosis (anti-HCV and HCV-RNA) were collected by interview using standard questionnaires and by review of charts. Results: Two thousand patients were included; 55.1% were male, mean age 58 ± 11 years. Only 14.9% had higher education and 84.2% received up to five monthly minimum Brazilian wages (approximately US$260.00/month). The time between diagnosis and beginning of follow-up was 22.9 months. The most common reasons for testing were check-up (33.2%) and blood donation (19%). General practitioners diagnosed most of the patients (30.1%). Fibrosis stage was mainly evaluated by liver biopsy (61.5%) and 31.3% of the patients were cirrhotic at diagnosis. Conclusions: This multicenter Brazilian study showed that the mean time to reach a referral center for treatment was almost two years. Primary care physicians diagnoses most hepatitis C cases in the country. Population campaigns and medical education should be encouraged to intensify screening of asymptomatic individuals, considering the efficiency of check-ups in identifying new patients|
|Appears in Collections:||FCM - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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