Diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection in pregnant women in the healthcare system in Poland: Is it worth the effort?

Bożena Walewska-Zielecka , Urszula Religioni , Grzegorz Juszczyk , Aleksandra Czerw , Zbigniew M. Wawrzyniak , Piotr Soszyński


The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is globally recognized as a serious public health concern. Current statistics indicate that approximately 2% of people worldwide and 1.9% of people in Poland suffer from HCV infection. This study was conducted to assess the anti-HCV seroprevalence in pregnant women in Poland and subsequently provide recommendations on the rationale for obligatory screening. A total of 42,274 women participated in our study, of which 16,130 were pregnant. We were granted access to their health data stored in the form of electronic medical records kept by the network of outpatient clinics throughout Poland. The lowest rate of positive anti-HCV test results was found in women ages 25 to 34 (0.73%); however, younger and older age groups had similar rates (15–24 = 0.86%; 35–44 = 0.84%). Additional analysis of data from the period between 2011 and 2014 revealed a downward trend in the proportion of positive anti-HCV tests among pregnant women (mean positive anti-HCV = −0.001 × year + 1.9451; R2 = 0.7274). Regardless of the gradual increase in the number of female patients undergoing screening between 2004 and 2015, there has been a constant decrease in the rate of positive cases. The rate of pregnant women potentially infected with HCV was twice as lower than that in a control group of women undergoing tests for other medical circumstances: 0.76% vs 1.67% (P < 0.0001). Analysis of real-world data of female patients in Poland provides evidence that screening based on an individual's medical history and behavioral risk factors in clinical circumstances would be more effective than obligatory testing of all pregnant women.
Author Bożena Walewska-Zielecka
Bożena Walewska-Zielecka,,
, Urszula Religioni
Urszula Religioni,,
, Grzegorz Juszczyk
Grzegorz Juszczyk,,
, Aleksandra Czerw
Aleksandra Czerw,,
, Zbigniew M. Wawrzyniak ISE
Zbigniew M. Wawrzyniak,,
- The Institute of Electronic Systems
, Piotr Soszyński
Piotr Soszyński,,
Journal seriesMedicine, ISSN 0025-7974
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishhepatitis C virus, obligatory screening, pregnant women
URL http://journals.lww.com/md-journal/Fulltext/2016/07260/Diagnosis_of_hepatitis_C_virus_infection_in.50.aspx#
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)40
ScoreMinisterial score [Punktacja MNiSW] = 35.0, 27-03-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) [Punktacja MNiSW (2013-2016)] = 40.0, 27-03-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor [Impact Factor WoS]: 2016 = 1.803 (2) - 2016=2.069 (5)
Citation count*1 (2018-06-18)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.