CDC Study: Increase in Hepatitis C Infections Linked to Worsening Opioid Crisis

New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the recent steep increase in cases of acute hepatitis C virus infection is associated with increases in opioid injection. The study examines data from CDC’s hepatitis surveillance system and from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national database that tracks admissions to substance use disorder treatment facilities in all 50 states. Across the nation, researchers found substantial, simultaneous increases in acute hepatitis C (133 percent) and admissions for opioid injection (93 percent) from 2004 to 2014. These increases were seen at not only the national level, but also when data were analyzed by state, by age, and by race and ethnicity. Taken together, the findings point to a close relationship between the two troubling trends.

View CDC’s press release about the study, read the research report in full, and check out the associated graphics.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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