Background: Comparison of the estimated prevalence of HCV infection and number of detected chronic hepatitis C (CHC) cases shows that most infections in Polish population remain undetected. Until now we have probably diagnosed and treated only approximately 20% of the whole HCV-infected population in Poland.
Methods: We performed anti-HCV antibodies testing in the groups of patients with arterial hypertension or diabetes mellitus and compared proportions of positive results with rates obtained in the group of young, healthy women aged < 35 years. All patients had positive history of at least one hospitalisation.
Results: The analysis of patient subgroups according to study inclusion criteria revealed the highest ratio of positive anti-HCV results in the group of young women aged < 35 years with positive history of at least one hospitalisation (5/91, 5.5%). Among patients with arterial hypertension and diabetes 6/505 (1.2%) and 1/94 (1.06%) positive anti-HCV results were detected, respectively. The difference in the proportion of positive anti-HCV results between the group of young women and subgroups of patients with arterial hypertension and diabetes was statistically significant (p=0.00327).
Conclusion: In view of obtained results it seems reasonable to look for new risk groups of HCV infection in order to increase efficacy of screening tests.
Keywords: HCV infection; anti-HCV antibodies; screening tests.