The true treatment rate for Hepatitis C virus in veterans is unknown.
Dr Adeel Butt and colleagues from Pennsylvania determined treatment prescription rates and predictors of prescription for Hepatitis C virus in a large national population.
The research team used the department of veterans affairs national patient care database.
|The treatment prescription rate for Hepatitis C virus was 12%|
The team identified all Hepatitis C virus-infected people between the fiscal years 1999 and 2003 using the International classification of diseases, 9th revision codes.
Demographic information, medical and psychiatric comorbidities, and drug and alcohol use diagnoses were retrieved.
The research team retrieved pharmacy data from the department of veterans affairs pharmacy benefits management database.
The researchers used logistic regression analysis to determine the predictors of treatment for Hepatitis C virus.
The researchers identified 113,927 veterans in the department of veterans affairs care with a diagnosis of Hepatitis C virus.
The treatment prescription rate for Hepatitis C was 12%.
The team found that patients not prescribed treatment were older, and more likely to be from minority races.
Patients not prescribed treatment also had more alcohol and drug misuse, and medical and psychiatric comorbid conditions.
In a multivariate logistic regression model, the team identified several predictive factors of non-treatment for Hepatitis C.
Increasing age, Black race, Hispanic race, alcohol abuse and dependence were predictive of non-treatment for Hepatitis C.
The team observed that drug abuse and dependence, anemia, Hepatitis B infection, coronary artery disease were predictive of nontreatment.
Stroke, bipolar disorder, major and mild depression, and schizophrenia predicted non-treatment.
The researchers found several factors associated with a higher likelihood of treatment prescription for Hepatitis C virus.
These included liver cirrhosis, and diabetes.
Dr Butt's and team concluded, “A small number of Hepatitis C virus-infected veterans were prescribed treatment for Hepatitis C virus.”
“Non-treatment is associated with increasing age, non-white race, drug and alcohol abuse, and dependence and comorbid illnesses.”
“Reasons for non-treatment need further study.”