4098.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 6

Abstract #5986

Hepatitis C and alcohol preference among injection drug users in Anchorage, Alaska

Rebecca S. Wells, SM, Dennis G. Fisher, PhD, Andrea M. Fenaughty, PhD, and Henry H Cagle, BS. IVDU Project, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, 907-561-4276, anrsw@uaa.alaska.edu

Objective: Previous studies have shown an association between alcohol use and hepatitis C (HCV) infection (Nalpas et al. 1998; Rosman et al. 1996). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between HCV infection and alcohol use in a sample of injection drug users (IDU's). Methods: From May 1997 to July 1999, data were collected from IDU's (N=652) using the NIDA Risk Behavior Assessment, a supplemental alcohol questionnaire and phlebotomy. Blood samples were tested for antibodies to HCV. Results: There was a strong association between type of alcohol consumed during lifetime period of heaviest drinking and HCV infection ( c2 (1, N=580)=7.41, p=.006). To further understand this relationship, a logistic regression model was developed to describe the participants who chose liquor versus beer during their period of heaviest drinking (liquor=1). The model included sex (female=1) (OR=1.94; 95%CI 1.29,2.93), number of years since first injection (5 year increments) (OR=1.13; CI 1.03,1.23), ever having had a sexually transmitted disease (OR=1.56; CI 1.11,2.21), and being unemployed and not looking for work (OR=0.65; 0.46,0.91). The model fit was good (Hosmer and Lemeshow goodness-of-fit c2 (8, N=584)=3.55, p=.90). Conclusions: Liquor preference during lifetime period of heaviest drinking was associated with HCV infection in this sample. A model that included demographic, sex, and injection variables best described those liquor drinkers.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to: 1) Recognize the relationship between hepatitis C and alcohol use. 2) List characteristics of individuals who chose liquor versus beer at their period of heaviest drinking

Keywords: Hepatitis C, Alcohol

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA