Background. The Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS), a dynamic prospective, longitudinal, observational cohort study, was created to assess the clinical impact of chronic viral hepatitis in the United States. This report describes the cohort selection process, baseline demographics, and insurance, biopsy, hospitalization, and mortality rates.
Methods. Electronic health records of >1.6 million adult patients seen from January 2006 through December 2010 at 4 integrated healthcare systems in Detroit, Michigan; Danville, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Honolulu, Hawaii were collected and analyzed.
Results. Of 2202 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, 50% were aged 44–63 years, 57% male, 58% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 13% black; and 5.1% had Medicaid, 16.5% Medicare, and 76.3% private insurance. During 2001–2010, 22.3% had a liver biopsy and 37.9% were hospitalized. For the 8810 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, 75% were aged 44–63 years, 60% male, 23% black; and 12% had Medicaid, 23% Medicare, and 62% private insurance. During 2001–2010, 38.4% had a liver biopsy and 44.3% were hospitalized. Among persons in care, 9% of persons with HBV and 14% of persons with HCV infection, mainly those born during 1945–1964, died during the 2006–2010 five-year period.
Conclusions. Baseline demographic, hospitalization, and mortality data from CHeCS highlight the substantial US health burden from chronic viral hepatitis, particularly among persons born during 1945–1964.