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Kln The question of whether regular screening of the general population or individual risk groups for hepatitis B and hepatitis C is meaningful or not, must be left unanswered due to lack of appropriate studies on this topic. This is the conclusion of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) in a final report on the subject.
Already in May this year, the Institute had published two preliminary reports and asked them for discussion. Following evaluation of the comments received, IQWiG researchers present their final reports. The main result: In the absence of decisive evidence, the benefit ratio for screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C remains unclear.
The institute also included modeling studies on risk group screening in the analysis. But these could not be convinced: for example, the question of whether the assumptions made in these models apply to the German supply context are still largely open, reports the researchers.
IQWiG has also evaluated current guidelines for its reports. The guidelines for screening risk groups for hepatitis B are based on assumptions that are incomprehensible, concludes the institute.
On the other hand, some hepatitis C guidelines made reasonable assumptions about possible benefits and disadvantages of screening of risk groups and specific birth years, thus rejecting possible screening for hepatitis C, which is limited to these groups.
If such screening of hepatitis C risk groups is introduced, an accompanying evaluation would be important to reduce the unclearness presented and in order to change the program as needed, IQWiG researchers recommend.
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