Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2017
Introduction: IVDU remains a major means of transmission of viral Hepatitis and HIV. Epidemiological data for IVDU are scarce in Greece. We sought to provide insights based on local data concerning the origin, level of education, duration of use and the underlying liver disease as well as the compliance of IVDU to treatment and follow up.
Methods: 160 IVDU followed in the Hepatology Unit in a university hospital, were studied retrospectively. Demographic data, level of education, years of IV drug use, as well as underlying disease were collected from the medical records. Data were recorded from the first encounter of the patient with the facility until March 2017 or loss of follow-up.
Results: From 160 IVDU 80% were men. 62.25% had discontinued the drug use. 75.6% had HCV, 20.6% HCV-HIV, 3.75% HCV-HBV. 73% had genotype determination. G3a was the leading genotype (52%), while G1 reached 34.83%. From IVDU with HCV 42.69% received therapy and 73.68% completed treatment.12.5% had cirrhosis at the time of enrolment in the study.
Demographic data and behavior patterns were also recorded. 89.6% were Greeks (46.9% urban and 53%rural areas) and 10.3% were foreigners. 37.3% had completed secondary education, while 19.7% only primary education. 66.2% had >10 year IVDU and among them 77.45% were lost to follow up;33.76% had <10 years and 75% were lost to follow up despite free access to medical services. 136 patients had recorded data for alcohol use:41.91% had heavy consumption for >10 years.
Conclusion: Despite the widely acknowledged progress of the last decades in the prevention and management of liver disease in IVDU, viral hepatitis remains a major public health issue. The results from this study suggest that there is still a large percent of IVDU lost to follow up, despite the free medical access