• Fasting plasma glucose as initial screening for diabetes and prediabetes in irish adults: The Diabetes Mellitus and Vascular health initiative (DMVhi).

      Sinnott, M; Kinsley, BT; Jackson, AD; Walsh, C; O'Grady, T; Nolan, JJ; Gaffney, P; Boran, G; Kelleher, C; Carr, B; et al. (Public Library of Science (PLoS One), 2015-04-15)
      Objective Type 2 diabetes has a long pre clinical asymptomatic phase. Early detection may delay or arrest disease progression. The Diabetes Mellitus and Vascular health initiative (DMVhi) was initiated as a prospective longitudinal cohort study on the prevalence of undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, diabetes risk and cardiovascular risk in a cohort of Irish adults aged 45-75 years. Research Design and Methods Members of the largest Irish private health insurance provider aged 45 to 75 years were invited to participate in the study. Exclusion criteria: already diagnosed with diabetes or taking oral hypoglycaemic agents. Participants completed a detailed medical questionnaire, had weight, height, waist and hip circumference and blood pressure measured. Fasting blood samples were taken for fasting plasma glucose (FPG). Those with FPG in the impaired fasting glucose (IFG) range had a 75gm oral glucose tolerance test performed. Results 122,531 subjects were invited to participate. 29,144 (24%) completed the study. The prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes was 1.8%, of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) was 7.1% and of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) was 2.9%. Dysglycaemia increased among those aged 45-54, 55-64 and 65-75 years in both males (10.6%, 18.5%, 21.7% respectively) and females (4.3%, 8.6%, 10.9% respectively). Undiagnosed T2D, IFG and IGT were all associated with gender, age, blood pressure, BMI, abdominal obesity, family history of diabetes and triglyceride levels. Using FPG as initial screening may underestimate the prevalence of T2D in the study population. Conclusions This study is the largest screening study for diabetes and prediabetes in the Irish population. Follow up of this cohort will provide data on progression to diabetes and on cardiovascular outcomes.
    • HepCare Europe-A service innovation project. HepCheck: Characteristics of the patient population with active infection as defined by HCV RNA.

      Avramovic, Gordana; Oprea, Cristiana; Surey, Julian; Story, Alistair; Macías, Juan; Cullen, Walter; Iglesias, Maria; Mc Hugh, Tina; Crowley, Des; Naughton, Anna Marie; et al. (2019-11-27)
      BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a main cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and is consistently under-diagnosed. Community-based screening initiatives, such as HepCheck, have been identified as important components of HCV care. HepCheck focuses on screening and identifying HCV RNA-positive cases in high-risk populations and linking them to care as part of a larger European project to improve HCV care (HepCare). METHODS: HCV testing with a self-administered questionnaire was offered to 2822 individuals. RESULTS: There were 2079 patients screened. Overall, 397 (19%) of the total screened cohort were identified as having active HCV infections as measured by HCV RNA PCR. The patients were mostly male (84%), white (88%), and had a history of injecting drug use (IDU) (86%), homelessness (58%), and tattooing (42%). There were 136 new cases (7% of the total sample and 34% of identified active infections). Romania had the highest proportion of newly identified cases with 87%, then Ireland with 60%, and Spain with 43%; the UK had the lowest proportion of new cases at 10%. CONCLUSIONS: For those lost to follow-up, a major strategy is re-engagement. For those newly diagnosed, the 'seek and treat' approach is a key strategy. Thus, different priorities are defined for different countries.
    • 'HepCheck Dublin': an intensified hepatitis C screening programme in a homeless population demonstrates the need for alternative models of care.

      Lambert, John S; Murtagh, Ross; Menezes, Dee; O'Carroll, Austin; Murphy, Carol; Cullen, Walter; McHugh, Tina; Avramovic, Gordana; Tinago, Willard; Van Hout, Marie Claire (2019-02-07)
      Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease worldwide. Prevalence of HCV in homeless populations ranges from 3.9 to 36.2%. The HepCheck study sought to investigate and establish the characterisation of HCV burden among individuals who attended an intensified screening programme for HCV in homeless services in Dublin, Ireland. Methods: The HepCheck study was conducted as part of a larger European wide initiative called HepCare Europe. The study consisted of three phases; 1) all subjects completed a short survey and were offered a rapid oral HCV test; 2) a convenience sample of HCV positive participants from phase 1 were selected to complete a survey on health and social risk factors and 3) subjects were tracked along the referral pathway to identify whether they were referred to a specialist clinic, attended the specialist clinic, were assessed for cirrhosis by transient elastography (Fibroscan) and were treated for HCV. Results: Five hundred ninety-seven individuals were offered HCV screening, 73% were male and 63% reported having had a previous HCV screening. We screened 538 (90%) of those offered screening, with 37% testing positive. Among those who tested positive, 112 (56%) were 'new positives' and 44% were 'known positives'. Undiagnosed HCV was prevalent in 19% of the study sample. Active past 30-day drug use was common, along with attendance for drug treatment. Unstable accommodation was the most common barrier to attending specialist appointments and accessing treatment. Depression and anxiety, dental problems and respiratory conditions were common reported health problems. Forty-six subjects were referred to specialised services and two subjects completed HCV treatment. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the current hospital-based model of care is inadequate in addressing the specific needs of a homeless population and emphasises the need for a community-based treatment approach. Findings are intended to inform HepCare Europe in their development of a community-based model of care in order to engage with homeless individuals with multiple co-morbidities including substance abuse, who are affected by or infected with HCV.