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Title: The impact of blood-borne viruses on cause-specific mortality among opioid dependent people: An Australian population-based cohort study.
Authors: Vajdic CM; Marashi Pour S; Olivier J; Swart A; O'Connell DL; Falster MO; Meagher NS; Mao L; Grulich AE; Randall DA; Amin J; Burns L; Degenhardt L
Categories: Cancer Control, Survivorship, and Outcomes Research - Resources and Infrastructure
Year: 2015
Journal Title: Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume: 152
Page number start: 264
Page number end: 271
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Blood-borne viruses (BBV) are prevalent among people with opioid dependence but their association with cause-specific mortality has not been examined at the population-level. METHODS: We formed a population-based cohort of 29,571 opioid substitution therapy (OST) registrants in New South Wales, Australia, 1993-2007. We ascertained notifications of infection and death by record linkage between the Pharmaceutical Drugs of Addiction System (OST data), registers of hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses, and the National Death Index. We used competing risks regression to quantify associations between notification for BBV infection and causes of death. BBV status, age, year, OST status, and OST episodes were modelled as time-dependent covariates; sex was a fixed covariate. RESULTS: OST registrants notified with HCV infection were more likely to die from accidental overdose (subdistribution hazard ratio, 95% Confidence Interval: 1.7, 1.5-2.0), cancer (2.0, 1.3-3.2) and unintentional injury (1.4, 1.0-2.0). HBV notification was associated with a higher hazard of mortality due to unintentional injury (2.1, 1.1-3.9), cancer (2.8, 1.5-5.5), and liver disease (2.1, 1.0-4.3). Liver-related mortality was higher among those notified with HIV only (11, 2.5-50), HCV only (5.9, 3.2-11) and both HIV and HCV (15, 3.2-66). Registrants with an HIV notification had a higher hazard of cardiovascular-related mortality (4.0, 1.6-9.9). CONCLUSIONS: Among OST registrants, BBVs are a direct cause of death and also a marker of behaviours that can result in unintended death. Ongoing and enhanced BBV prevention strategies and treatment, together with targeted education strategies to reduce risk, are justified.
Division: Cancer Research Division
DOI: 1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.03.026
Appears in Collections:Research Articles

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