Understanding associations between serious mental illness and hepatitis C virus among veterans: A national multivariate analysis

Seth Himelhoch, John F. McCarthy, Dara Ganoczy, Deborah Medoff, Amy Kilbourne, Richard Goldberg, Lisa Dixon, Frederic C. Blow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis in the United States and is known to be transmitted via pathways associated with substance use (e.g., injection drug use and intranasal drug use). Objective: Although individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) have a high prevalence of HCV, the nature of this relationship is unclear and is the subject of this investigation. Method: The authors determined unadjusted and adjusted recorded prevalence of HCV among a national sample of veterans with and without SMI. Results: HCV was recorded in 8.1% of patients with bipolar disorder, 7.1% of patients with schizophrenia, and 2.5% of patients without SMI. Substance use increased HCV risk among SMI patients; patients with bipolar disorder had greater risk than patients with schizophrenia. Conclusion: Efforts to address HCV among patients with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalPsychosomatics
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by VA Capitol Health Care Network MIRECC , NIDA K-23 DA019820 , to Dr. Himelhoch; a VA Health Services Research and Development Career Development Award Merit Review Entry ProgramMRP 03–320, to Dr. McCarthy; and Grant MRP 02–269 and IIR 02–283, to Dr. Kilbourne.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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