Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 1693–1698

Hepatitis B and C Among Veterans on a Psychiatric Ward

  • James H. Tabibian
  • Donna A. Wirshing
  • Joseph M. Pierre
  • Lisa H. Guzik
  • Michael D. Kisicki
  • Itai Danovitch
  • Shirley J. Mena
  • William C. Wirshing
Original Paper


Hepatitis B and C are public health problems. Psychiatric patients may be at risk of hepatitis B and C exposure due to lifestyle and inadequate health care. We aimed to determine prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus exposure and associated risk factors in acutely hospitalized psychiatric veterans. A total of 234 individuals consecutively admitted to the psychiatric wards at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital were asked to participate. A total of 129 patients consented and were screened for viral hepatitis risk factors, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B surface and core antibodies, and hepatitis C antibodies. About 31 and 38% of the patients had been exposed to hepatitis B and C viruses, respectively. Several risk factors were associated with exposure. Inpatient psychiatric veterans seem to have increased rates of hepatitis B and C exposure. This highlights the need for prevention of risk behavior in this vulnerable population.


Hepatitis Epidemiology Psychiatric Veterans Risk factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Tabibian
    • 1
  • Donna A. Wirshing
    • 1
  • Joseph M. Pierre
    • 1
  • Lisa H. Guzik
    • 1
  • Michael D. Kisicki
    • 1
  • Itai Danovitch
    • 1
  • Shirley J. Mena
    • 1
  • William C. Wirshing
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, West Los Angeles Veteran’s Affair’s Hospital, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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