21 Dec USPSTF Screening Recommendations for Hepatitis B Screening
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aaron B. Caughey, M.D.,M.P.P., M.P.H.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Associate Dean for Women’s Health Research and Policy
Oregon Health & Science University
Founder and Chair
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded Oregon Perinatal Collaborative
USPSTF Task Force Member
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Hepatitis B virus infection is a serious condition that affects about 860,000 people in the United States. Screening for hepatitis B can detect the infection early, so that you can receive treatment that will reduce the potential for serious complications, including cancer, liver failure, and even death. Hepatitis B often has no signs or symptoms, so clinicians should screen teens and adults who are at increased risk for hepatitis B to help protect their health.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: More people will be able to receive treatment and stay healthy if we screen those at risk for hepatitis B. Screening can help detect the virus early, when it is easier to treat. People who are at the greatest risk were often infected at birth, either because they were born in a region where a lot of people had hepatitis B, or because their parents had the infection. This group may only need to be screened once. Other people at risk include those who inject drugs, are infected with HIV, or men who have sex with men. The Task Force encourages clinicians to use their best judgement to determine how frequently a patient should be screened for hepatitis B if they continue to be at increased risk over time.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The Task Force is calling for additional research on tools that can help clinicians better identify teen and adult patients who are at increased risk for hepatitis B.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: It’s important to note that this recommendation only applies to nonpregnant teens and adults over the age of 12 who are at increased risk for hepatitis B infection and have no signs or symptoms. The Task Force has a separate recommendation to screen everyone who is pregnant for hepatitis B.
Additionally, this recommendation does apply to people who have been vaccinated for hepatitis B if they are at increased risk.
Chou R, Blazina I, Bougatsos C, et al. Screening for Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Nonpregnant Adolescents and Adults: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2020;324(23):2423–2436. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19750
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Adolescents and Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2020;324(23):2415–2422. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.22980
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