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Injection into the jugular vein among people who inject drugs in the United Kingdom: Prevalence, associated factors and harms

Hope, VD, Iversen, J, Cullen, KJ, Parry, JV, Maher, L and Nucbe, F (2017) Injection into the jugular vein among people who inject drugs in the United Kingdom: Prevalence, associated factors and harms. International Journal of Drug Policy, 46. pp. 28-33. ISSN 0955-3959

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Background: While people who inject drugs (PWID) typically use peripheral veins, some inject into their central veins, including the femoral and jugular veins. Injection into the jugular vein can have serious adverse health consequences, including jugular vein thrombosis, deep neck infections, pneumothorax, endocarditis and sepsis. This study examined the prevalence of, and factors associated with, jugular vein injection among a large sample of PWID in the United Kingdom.
Method: Unlinked anonymous surveys (2011–14) recruited PWID from agencies providing services to this population. Self-reported demographic and injection-related data were collected from consenting respondents using a brief questionnaire and dried blood spot samples were tested for exposure to HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Univariate and multivariable logistic regression were used to examine factors associated with jugular vein injection.
Results: Among 5261 PWID, one third had injected into a central vein in the previous 28 days, including 6% (n = 339) who had injected into their jugular vein and 1% (n = 52) who had used this site exclusively for recent injections. Factors independently associated with recent jugular vein injection in multivariable analysis included female gender, a lifetime history of imprisonment, sharing needles and syringes, poly-drug injection and injection into multiple body sites. Jugular vein injection was also associated with experiencing injection-related injuries, although no associations were identified with respect to exposure to blood borne viral infections.
Conclusion: A significant minority of PWID inject into the jugular vein in the United Kingdom. Public health responses should investigate ways to support and promote good injection site management in order to minimise vascular damage and reduce problems with peripheral venous access. Women who inject drugs, PWID with a history of imprisonment and those people who are experiencing early signs of injection-related skin and soft tissue injuries are priority sub-populations for interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences, 16 Studies In Human Society
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 10:41
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 03:33
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.005
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7627
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