Hepatitis c and substance use in a sample of homeless people in New York city

Andrew Rosenblum, Larry Nuttbrock, Hunter L. McQuistion, Stephen Magura, Herman Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and its association with substance use and sexual behavior among a sample of 139 persons visiting a mobile medical clinic in Manhattan. Ninety percent were unstably housed or were living on the street. The prevalence of HCV antibodies was 32%. Prevalence was also high for hepatitis B core antibodies (47%), HIV antibodies (15%), and syphilis exposure (14%); 76% tested positive for cocaine. Among subjects who reported ever injecting (20%), 86% were HCV positive; 19% of non-injectors were HCV positive. In separate multivariate logistic regression models (with injection controlled), HCV was predicted by quantitative hair assays for cocaine and self-re -ported duration of crack-cocaine use. Alcohol dependence and sexual behavior did not predict HCV. Hepatitis C is a significant public health problem among the urban homeless population, with injection drug use and, to a lesser extent, cocaine use implicated as risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Dec 2001

Keywords

  • Cocaine use
  • Hair analysis
  • Hepatitis-C
  • Homelessness

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