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Prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C viral infection amongst a cohort of irish drug users attending a drug treatment centre for agonist opioid treatment (AOT)

Keegan, D and Crowley, D and Laird, E and van Hout, MC (2017) Prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C viral infection amongst a cohort of irish drug users attending a drug treatment centre for agonist opioid treatment (AOT). Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems, 19 (1). ISSN 1592-1638

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Abstract

Background: Injecting drug use (IDU) is a major driver of the European hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic. National data on prevalence of HCV amongst Irish drug users remains confined to certain treatment sites and prison settings. Aim: To examine the prevalence of HCV infection and risk factors associated with infection among the 228 patients attending agonist opioid treatment (AOT) in a clinic in Dublin. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted using data collected from Health Research Board (HRB) forms and standardised written and electronic assessment forms routinely completed on treatment initiation. Results: The prevalence of HCV infection was 63.6% (n= 145) with no significant gender difference (p=0.717). Patients who were infected with HCV were older than those uninfected (41.1 ± 7.5 years versus 37.5 ± 8.5 years; p = 0.001), with prevalence significantly lower in younger adults (p=0.002). Multivariate analysis identified age of first drug use (p=0.002) and first injection (p=0.001), type of first drug used; cannabis (p=0.015), heroin (p=0.014) and cocaine (p=0.018) and early age of AOT entry (p=0.001) as the most significant risk factors for HCV infection in this cohort. Those with no IDU had decreased odds of being HCV positive by 91.1%. Conclusion: Data for this Irish sample indicates high prevalence of HCV infection, and the need to consider age of first drug onset and injecting use, particular drug types and earlier commencement of AOT to inform targeted HCV treatment and prevention interventions in Ireland. © Icro Maremmani.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Associazione per l'Utilizzo delle Conoscenze Neuroscientifiche a fini Sociali
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 10:13
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2017 10:13
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7638

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