Journal Article

Clinical Outcomes of Hepatitis C Treatment in a Prison Setting: Feasibility and Effectiveness for Challenging Treatment Populations

Duncan Smith-Rohrberg Maru, Robert Douglas Bruce, Sanjay Basu and Frederick L. Altice

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 47, issue 7, pages 952-961
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/591707
Clinical Outcomes of Hepatitis C Treatment in a Prison Setting: Feasibility and Effectiveness for Challenging Treatment Populations

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Background. More than one-third of people in the United States with hepatic C virus (HCV) infection pass through the correctional system annually. Data are lacking on outcomes of treatment with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (PEG-RBV) in correctional settings.

Methods. During 2002–2006, we analyzed patients in the Connecticut Department of Correction who received PEG-RBV. We assessed the rates of sustained virological response, hospitalization, and use of medications to treat psychiatric disorders and anemia.

Results. Of 138 treatment-naive patients referred for treatment, 68 (49%) were approved. Overall, sustained virological response occurred in 47.1% of patients (for HCV genotype 1, 43.1%; for HCV genotypes 2 and 3, 58.8%). Only 9 patients (13%) discontinued treatment because of adverse effects. Multiple regression analysis revealed that not achieving a sustained virological response was correlated with HCV genotype 1 infection plus cirrhosis (adjusted odds ratio, 12.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–148) and baseline major depression (adjusted odds ratio, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–11.6), but not with HIV infection, a baseline HCV RNA level ⩾400,000 IU/mL, or black race. Compared with baseline, the rate of prescription of a new mood stabilizer (2.2 vs. 0.8 prescriptions per person-year) or an opioid (1.8 vs. 0.5 prescriptions per person-year) was higher during treatment, whereas there was no change in the rate of prescription of benzodiazepines and antipsychotic medications.

Conclusions. These results support the feasibility and clinical effectiveness of PEG-RBV for the treatment of chronic HCV infection in correctional facilities.

Journal Article.  5279 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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