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      Major decline of hepatitis C virus incidence rate over two decades in a cohort of drug users

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          Injecting drug users (DU) are at high risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV infections. To examine the prevalence and incidence of these infections over a 20-year period (1985–005), the authors evaluated 1276 DU from the Amsterdam Cohort Studies who had been tested prospectively for HIV infection and retrospectively for HCV infection. To compare HCV and HIV incidences, a smooth trend was assumed for both curves over calendar time. Risk factors for HCV seroconversion were determined using Poisson regression. Among ever-injecting DU, the prevalence of HCV antibodies was 84.5% at study entry, and 30.9% were co-infected with HIV. Their yearly HCV incidence dropped from 27.5/100 person years (PY) in the 1980s to 2/100 PY in recent years. In multivariate analyses, ever-injecting DU who currently injected and borrowed needles were at increased risk of HCV seroconversion (incidence rate ratio 29.9, 95% CI 12.6, 70.9) compared to ever-injecting DU who did not currently inject. The risk of HCV seroconversion decreased over calendar time. The HCV incidence in ever-injecting DU was on average 4.4 times the HIV incidence, a pattern seen over the entire study period. The simultaneous decline of both HCV and HIV incidence probably results from reduced risk behavior at the population level.

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          Most cited references 36

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          The epidemic behavior of the hepatitis C virus.

          Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading worldwide cause of liver disease. Here, we use a new model of HCV spread to investigate the epidemic behavior of the virus and to estimate its basic reproductive number from gene sequence data. We find significant differences in epidemic behavior among HCV subtypes and suggest that these differences are largely the result of subtype-specific transmission patterns. Our model builds a bridge between the disciplines of population genetics and mathematical epidemiology by using pathogen gene sequences to infer the population dynamic history of an infectious disease.
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            Hepatitis C virus seroconversion among young injection drug users: relationships and risks.

            The present study examined reasons for the high incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among young injection drug users (IDUs). IDUs <30 years old who tested negative for HCV antibody were enrolled in a prospective cohort. Risk factors for seroconversion were examined using time-dependent regression analyses: 48 of 195 IDUs seroconverted to HCV, for an incidence rate of 25.1/100 person-years (95% confidence interval, 18.7-32.9/100 person-years). Independent risk factors included sharing needles with an HCV-infected sex partner (borderline statistical significance, P=.11) or a person who was not a sex partner, sharing nonsterile drug-preparation equipment, pooling money with another IDU to buy drugs, and exchanging sex for money. Ubiquitous behaviors among young IDUs, such as the forming of injecting or sexual partnerships and consequent sharing of needles and drug preparation equipment, are risk factors for HCV. Interventions to reduce HCV transmission must recognize the importance of relationships on injecting risk.
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              Hepatitis C: an epidemiological review.

               M. Memon,  M A Memon (2002)
              The aim of the study was to analyse the current literature regarding the mode of transmission of HCV and its global prevalence in different groups of people. A systematic review of the literature on the epidemiology of hepatitis C from 1991 to 2000 using computerized bibliographic databases which include Medline, Current Content and Embase. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) varies tremendously in different parts of the world, with the highest incidence in the Eastern parts of the globe compared with the Western parts. Furthermore, certain groups of individuals such as intravenous drug users are at increased risk of acquiring this disease irrespective of the geographical location. Although the main route of transmission is via contaminated blood, curiously enough in up to 50% of the cases no recognizable transmission factor/route could be identified. Therefore, a number of other routes of transmission such as sexual or household exposure to infected contacts have been investigated with conflicting results. Hepatitis C infection is an important public health issue globally. Better understanding of routes of transmission will help to combat the spread of disease. In order to prevent a world wide epidemic of this disease, urgent measures are required to (i) develop a strategy to inform and educate the public regarding this disease and (ii) expedite the efforts to develop a vaccine.

                Author and article information

                +31-20-5555362 , +31-20-5555533 , cvdberg@ggd.amsterdam.nl
                Eur J Epidemiol
                European Journal of Epidemiology
                Kluwer Academic Publishers (Dordrecht )
                3 March 2007
                March 2007
                : 22
                : 3
                : 183-193
                [1 ]Department of Human Retrovirology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Department of Research, Cluster, Infectious Diseases, Health Service of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 100, 1018 WT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [3 ]Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [4 ]Center for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
                [5 ]Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007
                Infectious Diseases
                Custom metadata
                © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

                Public health

                parenteral drug abuse, hiv incidence, hepatitis c virus, hepatitis c incidence


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