SNAPSHOTS —Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
Article: Increases in Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection Related to a Growing Opioid Epidemic and Associated Injection Drug Use, United States, 2004 to 2014—Jon E. Zibbell, PhD, et al.
SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 2 (February 1, 2018): pp. 175-181.
Study Aims and Results: To review and compare the rate of opioid injection drug use with the rate of acute hepatitis C (HCV) infections. This analysis included the type of injection drug (heroin vs. prescription opioid drug), patient characteristics (male/female), and race. The annual surveillance records from 2004 to 2014 were analyzed from drug treatment centers and compared to reported cases of acute HCV.
The rate of acute HCV infection increased more than 2-fold from 2004 to 2014—a 133% increase. Admissions to drug treatment centers due to any injection drug use increased 76%. Admissions for heroin injection use increased 85%, and prescription opioid drug injection use increased 258%.
Conclusions: The findings correlate with the increase of acute HCV infections, the opioid epidemic, and admissions to drug treatment centers.
Editorial Comments: This study provides additional evidence that the opioid epidemic and the second HCV epidemic are linked. To control these twin epidemics more resources will be needed on a local, state and national level.Share This Page