Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 815–820

Risk Factors for Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Patients Receiving Health Care in a Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital


  • Girish Mishra
    • University of Florida and Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center
  • C. Sninsky
    • University of Florida and Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center
  • Robert Roswell
    • Veterans Integrated Services Network 8
  • S. Fitzwilliam
    • University of Florida and Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center
  • Kenneth C. Hyams
    • VA Central Office

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022865515735

Cite this article as:
Mishra, G., Sninsky, C., Roswell, R. et al. Dig Dis Sci (2003) 48: 815. doi:10.1023/A:1022865515735


A cross-sectional, seroepidemiological study was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among veterans receiving health care from the VA. Among 274 evaluated outpatients, anti-HCV was found in 27 (9.9%). The prevalence of anti-HCV was 3.7% among 190 individuals who reported no illicit drug use compared to 24.7% among 81 subjects who had used drugs (P < 0.001). The prevalence of anti-HCV was 4.8% among 208 veterans who had never been incarcerated compared to 27.9% among 61 veterans who had been incarcerated (P < 0.001). A multivariate model found the following factors to be independently associated with anti-HCV: having used illicit drugs [odds ratio (OR) = 3.7, 95% CI 1.3–11.8; P = 0.001), having been incarcerated ( OR = 4.4, 95% CI 1.7–10.9; P = 0.001), and a yearly income less than US $10,000 ( OR = 3.5, 95% CI 1.3–9.4; P = 0.002). Because HCV infection was most strongly associated with illicit drug use, incarceration, and low income, these risk factors should be utilized to develop screening strategies among VA patients.

hepatitis Cviral hepatitisVeterans Affairs hospitalepidemiologymilitary medicine

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003