Hepatitis C Screening of the “Birth Cohort” (Born 1945-1965) and Younger Inmates of New York City Jails

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To examine uptake of screening for all individuals born between 1945 and 1965 (referred to by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the “birth cohort”) and outline preliminary HCV prevalence data in the New York City jail system.


Data were extracted from electronic health records for all individuals screened for HCV between June 13, 2013, and June 13, 2014, in New York City jails. We used the Abbott EIA 2.0 HCV antibody assay for testing.


In the year of study, 56 590 individuals were incarcerated; 15.1% were born between 1945 and 1965, and 84.6% were born after 1965. HCV screening was completed for 64.1% of the birth cohort and for 11.1% born after 1965, with 55.1% and 43.8% of cases found in these groups, respectively. The overall seropositivity rate was 20.6%.


Birth cohort screening in a large jail system identified many HCV cases, but HCV infection was common among younger age groups.

Public Health Implications

Universal screening may be warranted pending further study including cost-effectiveness analyses.

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