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Drug Misuse & HCV Infection for 3 Generations

J Addict Med; ePub 2018 Oct 16; McClure, et al

Patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are more likely than HCV-negative patients to display high-risk behavior, and this difference is most pronounced in the post-baby boomer generation, a new study found. The retrospective study quantified the relationship between illicit/prescription drug misuse and HCV infection in 3 population generations: baby boomers (born 1945-1965), pre-baby boomers, and post-baby boomers. Prescription drug consistency and HCV patient test results were included, and HCV positivity, drug use consistency/inconsistency with prescribed drug information, type of inconsistent use, and inconsistent use of individual drug classes were assessed. Researchers found:

  • 39,231 prescription drug monitoring and HCV sets of test results from 18,410 patients were evaluated.
  • 25.1% of patients tested positive for HCV and 57.3% demonstrated drug test results that were inconsistent with the prescribed medication.
  • The types of drug test inconsistency differed substantially between HCV-positive and HCV-negative patients.
  • Specimens from HCV-positive baby boomer and post-baby boomers demonstrated non-prescribed use of opioids and other drug classes more often than from HCV-negative patients.


McClure FL, Niles JK, Kaufman HW, Gudin J. Drug misuse and hepatitis C virus infection profiles for three generations of patients being monitored for prescription drug adherence. [Published online ahead of print October 16, 2018]. J Addict Med. doi:10.1097/ADM.0000000000000460.