To explore the association between inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) flares and potential triggers. METHODS: Patients evaluated for an acute flare of IBD by a gastroenterologist at the Dallas VA Medical Center were invited to participate, as were a control group of patients with IBD in remission. Patients were systematically queried about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, antibiotic use, stressful life events, cigarette smoking, medication adherence, infections, and travel in the preceding 3 mo. Disease activity scores were calculated for each patient at the time of enrollment and each patient’s chart was reviewed. Multivariate regression analysis was performed. RESULTS: A total of 134 patients with IBD (63 with Crohn’s disease, 70 with ulcerative colitis, and 1 with indeterminate colitis) were enrolled; 66 patients had flares of their IBD and 68 were controls with IBD in remission (for Crohn’s patients, average Crohn’s disease activity index was 350 for flares vs 69 in the controls; for UC patients, Mayo score was 7.6 for flares vs 1 for controls in those with full Mayo available and 5.4p for flares vs 0.1p for controls in those with partial Mayo score). Only medication non-adherence was significantly more frequent in the flare group than in the control group (48.5% vs 29.4%, P = 0.03) and remained significant on multivariate analysis (OR = 2.86, 95%CI: 1.33-6.18). On multivariate regression analysis, immunomodulator use was found to be associated with significantly lower rates of flare (OR = 0.40, 95%CI: 0.19-0.86). CONCLUSION: In a study of potential triggers for IBD flares, medication non-adherence was significantly associated with flares. These findings are incentive to improve medication adherence.
As new hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapies emerge, only 1%-12% of individuals are screened in the US for HCV infection. Presently, HCV screening trends are unknown. METHODS: We utilized the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States’ (KPMAS) data repository to investigate HCV antibody screening between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2012. We identified the proportion screened for HCV and 5-year cumulative incidence of screening, the screening positivity rate, the provider types performing HCV screening, patient-level factors associated with being screened, and trends in screening over time. RESULTS: There were 444,594 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Overall, 15.8% of the cohort was ever screened for HCV. Adult primary care and obstetrics and gynecology providers performed 75.9% of all screening. The overall test positivity rate was 3.8%. Screening was more frequent in younger age groups (P <.0001) and those with a documented history of illicit drug use (P <.0001). Patients with missing drug use history (46.7%) were least likely to be screened (P <.0001). While the rate of HCV screening increased in the later years of the study among those enrolled in KPMAS 2009-2012, only 11.8% were screened by the end of follow-up. CONCLUSION: Screening for HCV is increasing but remains incomplete. Targeting screening to those with a history of injection drug will not likely expand screening, as nearly half of patients have no documented drug use history. Routine screening is likely the most effective approach to expand HCV screening.