Prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection at an Urban veterans administration medical center
Article first published online: 30 DEC 2003
Copyright © 2001 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 34, Issue 6, pages 1200–1205, December 2001
How to Cite
Briggs, M. E., Baker, C., Hall, R., Gaziano, J. M., Gagnon, D., Bzowej, N. and Wright, T. L. (2001), Prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection at an Urban veterans administration medical center. Hepatology, 34: 1200–1205. doi: 10.1053/jhep.2001.29303
- Issue published online: 30 DEC 2003
- Article first published online: 30 DEC 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 SEP 2001
- Manuscript Received: 2 APR 2001
- Merit Review Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
This study was designed to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in veterans. Anti-HCV testing was performed in 1,032 patients and a questionnaire regarding sociodemographic characteristics and potential risk factors was administered. Adjusted prevalence of unique HCV-positive patients using outpatient services was 17.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 17.2%, 18.2%). The following risk factors were associated with HCV infection: a history of injection drug use (IDU), receipt of blood transfusion prior to 1992, history of tattoo (odds ratio [OR], 2.93; 95% CI, 1.70-5.08), combat job as a medical worker (OR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.25-5.60), history of incarceration over 48 hours (OR, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.52-4.32), greater than 15 lifetime sexual partners (OR, 1.61; 95% CI, 0.94-2.76) and sexual relations with a prostitute (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.25-0.82). We concluded that HCV is common in veterans. Risk factors independently associated with infection are IDU, prior transfusion, prior tattoo, combat medical work, incarceration, and multiple opposite sex partners. Infection with HCV among veterans is strongly associated with traditional risk factors for infection and less strongly associated with combat-related risk.