Hepatitis B virus infection in drug addicts: no acute fatalities, no chronicity and could have benefits

Authors


  • Received January 23, 2002.

    Accepted June 10, 2002.

Susanne Rogne Gjeruldsen, Department of Infectious Diseases, Ullevål University Hospital, N-0407 Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

In a group of 159 drug addicts with acute hepatitis B in the 1970s there were no fatalities. During an observation period of about 25 years, 51 of the 159 died of various causes, but no deaths could be attributed to the hepatitis B infection. From 1998 to 2001, a follow-up examination of 53 of the 108 patients still alive, none of the 53 had a chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Fifteen out of thirty-five patients who had completely stopped using narcotics claimed that hospitalisation for acute hepatitis B had been an important factor in their decision to quit drugs.

Ancillary