The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4088.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 5

Abstract #42383

Methadone treatment patients with hepatitis C: Initial indicators of access to medical care

Steven L. Batki, MD1, Martha E. Cornell, RN1, Rosa M.H. Peek1, Michael J. Wade2, and Syed J.H. Tirmazi, MD1. (1) Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams, Syracuse, NY 13210, 315-464-3132,, (2) VA Medical Center, 800 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210

Objective: To obtain an initial measure of access to medical care for Hepatitis C (HCV) among patients in an Upstate New York methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) program. Method: Data were collected from a cross-sectional chart review of 225 MMT patients for whom HCV status was known. Data were available for demographics, insurance status, laboratory values, and the following indicators of access to medical care, obtained from MMT nurse practitioner chart documentation: ever contacted a physician for HCV; ever contacted a gastroenterologist (GI) specialist; and ever had liver biopsy. Results: Of 225 MMT patients, 68.9% were HCV antibody positive (HCV+). The HCV+ mean age was 43.6 years. 69.0% were male, 65.2% Caucasian, 12.9% African American, and 18.1% Hispanic. 91.0% reported a history of injection drug use at MMT entry. 55% of HCV + patients had elevation of at least one liver enzyme. 85% had either Medicaid or private insurance. Only 46% of the HCV+ subjects reported contacting a primary care physician and even fewer -- 25.2% -- had contacted a GI specialist. 12.2 % had undergone a liver biopsy. Conclusions: In this Upstate New York MMT, there was high prevalence of HCV. While the majority of HCV+ patients had liver enzyme elevation and most had some form of insurance coverage, only a minority of patients were reported to have obtained medical attention. Further work is needed to better describe possible reasons - - e.g. ongoing drug or alcohol use -- for lack of access to HCV medical care in MMT patients.

Learning Objectives: Following this presentation, the participant should be able to

Keywords: Hepatitis C, Methadone Maintenance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Special Populations and Substance Abuse Poster Session I

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA