Benzodiazepine Use and Hepatitis C Seroconversion in a Cohort of Persons Who Inject Drugs

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine the relationship between benzodiazepine (BZD) use and HCV seroconversion in 2 linked prospective cohorts of persons who inject drugs (PWID).

Methods

We examined prospective cohorts of 440 PWID (baseline BZD users: n = 102; 23.2%) from the AIDS Care Cohort to Evaluate Access to Survival Services (ACCESS) and the Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study (VIDUS) cohorts, followed-up from 1996 to 2013 in Vancouver, Canada.

Results

At baseline, the prevalence of HCV was higher among those who used BZD (80.5% vs 61.5%; P < .001). After adjustment, BZD use remained independently associated with increased rates of HCV seroconversion (adjusted rate ratio = 1.67; 95% confidence interval = 1.05, 2.66).

Conclusions

BZD use is independently associated with HCV seroconversion in a population of PWID.

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