A report on health trends in Massachusetts
released Tuesday takes Cape Cod to task for high youth rates of
hepatitis C, opiate overdoses, a dearth of physicians for lower-income
patients — and barely a trickle of fluoridated water.
nonprofit Massachusetts Health Council takes a look at health
indicators including obesity, tobacco smoking, asthma and access to care
in its biennial report, “Common Health for the Commonwealth.”
“The focus is on prevention and wellness,” said Susan H. Servais, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Council.
Each year, according to a Rural Center of Pennsylvania study, an estimated 30,000 teenagers will try heroin.
It’s a cheap kick, about $10 per bag, typically injected into a
user’s veins in return for a few hours of dopamine-rattling euphoria.
But it’s a thrill that comes with big risks. In addition to overdose
and addiction, users who share needles are highly likely to contract
HIV, Hepatitis C or other blood-borne illnesses that can mean a lifetime
of health problems and stigmatization.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The incidence of acute hepatitis C
infection is rising rapidly among Americans aged 30 years and younger,
especially those living in non-urban areas, according to U.S. data.
“Because our study revealed a strong relationship between new
infections and injection drug use among youth, we would encourage
providers to be on high alert for these risk behaviors in young
patients,” said senior author Dr. Scott D. Holmberg from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Assessing their risk can be an important opportunity — not only
for testing but also to provide appropriate therapy or referral to
drug-cessation treatment,” he told Reuters Health by email.
Incidence of acute
hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increased significantly among young,
non-urban people who inject drugs in the United States between 2006 and 2012,
investigators report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
“The incidence of
reported acute hepatitis C among young persons has significantly increased
during 2006-12, with annual increases over two times greater in non-urban
compared to urban jurisdictions,” write the authors. “Reported incidence was
greater in 2012 than 2006 in at least 30 states, most notably in non-urban
jurisdictions east of the Mississippi River in or nearby Appalachian counties.”
The authors call for a comprehensive plan to tackle this “worrisome” emergent
HCV now surpasses
HIV as a cause of death in the US. Incidence of acute HCV infection was
before 2003 but has been increasing since 2006, especially among younger
(under 30 years of age) who inject drugs. Data from individual states
that there are emergent HCV epidemics among younger non-urban people who
inject drugs, with the infections linked to the injecting of
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The number of young people infected with hepatitis C on the streets of Vancouver is on the rise.
That’s according to a new study by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Scott Hadland with the Centre says drug use is the primary cause.
“When we looked at factors that were associated with developing
Hepatitis C, we found that injection drug use of heroin, cocaine, and
crystal methamphetamine were the primary drivers of this risk profile.”
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: NSW Health creates an interactive online party
experience to give 18-24-year-olds a hard-hitting message about the
risks of contracting Hep C.
Hepatitis C is often misunderstood as only a concern for “junkies”, and
those who associate with dirty needles. A key audience that had a
misconception around hepatitis C was 18-24-year-olds. In fact only 5%
saw themselves at any risk. (Source: TNS for NSW Government)
demonstrated a problem, how can you hope to make a message stick with a
famously hard-to-reach group when the message is about something they
feel is someone else’s problem? A big budget awareness campaign
targeting all of the 18-24-year-olds in NSW wasn’t an option; the budget
was just $200k. Mediacom had to be clever with the money by closely
relating the message to occasions where Hep C is contracted. This was
the key task.
POWELL, WYOMING -Northern Wyoming is dealing with an outbreak of Hepatitis C.
Wyoming Health Department representative
Ashley Grajczyk says the number of cases in Park County tripled from
2011 to 2012. In 2012, they were double the state rate.
the disease is showing up primarily in people 30 years and younger. How
is Hepatitis C transmitted from one person to another? In Park County,
mostly injected drug use.
“We’re talking about Hepatitis C here,
but in reality it is at risk kids 15 to 30 who are doing all kinds of
things maybe we don’t want to acknowledge, or we know about, or don’t
know what to do about,” says Bill Crampton, Park County Public Health.