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Individuals infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) need to be diagnosed well before developing end-stage liver disease to benefit from treatment. We aimed to ascertain what proportion of cases had been tested for HCV to inform on the effectiveness of current guidelines. Record linkage between national databases of HCV tests, hospital discharges and deaths identified 10 645 persons who were hospitalized or had died with mention of end-stage liver disease in Glasgow, Scotland, between 1993 and 2007. We estimated HCV test uptake and prevalence of HCV infection within the study population. The associations between both HCV test uptake and HCV-antibody status and sex, age group and deprivation quintile were estimated using logistic regression. We found that 43% of those hospitalized (n = 9153) and 23% of those who otherwise died (n = 1492) with first-time mention of end-stage liver disease had been tested for HCV during this period. Test uptake in those hospitalized increased from 13 (95% CI: 12-14%) in 1993-1997 to 58% (56-59%) in 2003-2007. The adjusted odds of being tested for HCV were significantly higher for men (OR=1.3, 95% CI: 1.2-1.5), for ages 25-54 (25-34 years: 2.7, 95% CI: 2.1-3.4; 35-44 years: 2.3, 95% CI: 2.0-2.6; 45-54 years: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.4-1.7) compared with 55+ years, and for those residing in the two most deprived quintiles (1.1, 95% CI: 1.0-1.2). Twenty-eight per cent of the HCV testees aged 25-44 years were HCV infected. These results highlight the continuing need for raising awareness among medical professionals for comprehensive HCV testing in patients with liver disease.