Background & aims:
The course of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) in injecting drug users (IDUs) has not been well described. The aim of this study was to compare long-term all-cause and liver-related mortality among anti-HCV positive IDUs with and without persisting HCV infection.
A retrospective-prospective controlled cohort design was applied. All IDUs admitted to resident drug treatment (1970-1984) and with available stored sera were screened for anti-HCV antibody. Anti-HCV positive individuals were further tested for the presence of HCV RNA. All-cause and liver-related mortality was compared between HCV RNA positive (n=328) and HCV RNA negative individuals (n=195). The observation was accomplished through register linkage to national registers. Mean observation time was 33 years.
All-cause mortality rate was 1.85 (95% CI 1.62-2.11) per 100 person-years, male 2.11 (95% CI 1.84-2.46), female 1.39 (95% CI 1.07-1.79). Mortality rates were not influenced by persisting HCV infection. Main causes of death were intoxications (45.0%), suicide (9.1%), and accidents (8.2%). Liver disease was the cause of death in 7.5% of deaths among HCV RNA positive subjects. Five of 13 deaths among male IDUs with persisting HCV infection occurring after the age of 50 years were caused by liver disease.
The all-cause mortality in IDUs is high and with no difference between HCV RNA positive and HCV RNA negative individuals, the first three decades after HCV transmission. However, among IDUs with chronic HCV infection who have survived until 50years of age, HCV infection emerges as the main cause of death.
"Drug treatment services have evolved substantially over the past few decades; from exclusively withdrawal-based treatment to maintenance-based treatment such as opioid substitution therapy . Studies describing mortality among PWID recruited through residential rehabilitation and detoxification services report high mortality rates (Kielland et al., 2013; Naderi-Heiden et al., 2012; Nyhlen et al., 2011), and may be different to populations recruited through methadone maintenance programs. Further, few have examined the impact of treatment access, such as age at treatment , on subsequent drug-related mortality. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the association between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and overall and liver-related death in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with alcohol problems.
We analyzed data from a cohort of HIV-infected adults with current or past alcohol problems enrolled between 2001 and 2003, searching for causes of death until 2010 using the National Death Index.
Participants were HIV-infected adults with current or past alcohol problems, recruited in Boston, MA from HIV clinics at two hospitals, homeless shelters, drug treatment programs, subject referrals, flyers, and another cohort study with comparable recruitment sites.
The primary and secondary outcomes were all-cause and liver-related mortality, respectively. The main independent variable was HCV RNA status (positive vs. negative). Mortality rates and Kaplan-Meier survival curves were calculated by HCV status for both overall and liver-related mortality. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association between HCV infection and overall and liver-related death, adjusting for alcohol and drug use over time.
397 hundred adults (50% HCV-infected) were included. As of December 31, 2009, 83 cohort participants had died (60 HCV-infected, 23 HCV negatives; log rank test p<0.001), and 26 of those deaths were liver-related (21 HCV-infected, 5 HCV negatives; log rank test p<0.001). All-cause and liver-related mortality rates were 4.68 and 1.64 deaths per 100 person-years for HCV-infected patients and 1.65 and 0.36 per 100 person-years for those without HCV, respectively. In the fully adjusted Cox model, HCV infection was associated with both overall [HR 2.55 (95%CI:1.50-4.33), p<0.01], and liver-related mortality [HR 3.24 (95%CI:1.18-8.94), p=0.02].
Hepatitis C virus infection is independently associated with all-cause and liver-related mortality in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with alcohol problems, even when accounting for alcohol and other drug use.
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