Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 607–622

Health Conditions Among Aging Narcotics Addicts: Medical Examination Results


  • Yih-Ing Hser
    • University of California
  • Lillian Gelberg
    • University of California
  • Valerie Hoffman
    • University of California
  • Christine E. Grella
    • University of California
  • William McCarthy
    • University of California
  • M. Douglas Anglin
    • University of California

DOI: 10.1007/s10865-004-0005-x

Cite this article as:
Hser, Y., Gelberg, L., Hoffman, V. et al. J Behav Med (2004) 27: 607. doi:10.1007/s10865-004-0005-x


The study examined health conditions among an aging cohort of male narcotics addicts. This prospective cohort study (1964–1998) included interviews and medical testing for 108 surviving subjects who had been admitted to the California Civil Addict Program during the years 1962 through 1964. Medical testing results were: 51.9% had high blood pressure, 22.4% showed hyperlipidemia, 13.3% had elevated levels of blood glucose, 33.6% had abnormal pulmonary function, half of the sample had abnormal liver function, and 94.2% tested positive for hepatitis C, 85.6% for hepatitis B, 3.8% for syphilis, and 27.3% for TB. The study empirically demonstrated poor health conditions and high morbidity among surviving narcotics addicts.

heroin addicts morbidity health conditions long-term follow-up

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004