Prevalence of hepatitis C among psychiatric patients in the public sector

Stephen H. Dinwiddie*, Louis Shicker, Tom Newman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study estimated the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus in a public-sector psychiatric hospital. Method: Patients admitted between Jan. 1, 1998, and Dec. 30, 2000, were routinely screened for hepatitis C virus antibody on admission. Results: A total of 133 (8.5%) of 1,556 patients admitted were positive for the hepatitis C virus. Aminotransferase levels were elevated but rarely abnormal among patients positive for the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis B surface antibody was found in 27.8% of the patients positive for the hepatitis C virus. These patients were more likely to receive a diagnosis of psychoactive substance use disorder but no other psychiatric diagnoses. Conclusions: The prevalence of hepatitis C virus is high among psychiatric patients in the public sector. Much needs to be learned about the role of universal screening and effective techniques for primary prevention and antiviral treatment in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-174
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume160
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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