Hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects 1% - 2.5% of pregnancies. Universal screening is not recommended aside from those with risk factors including among others: intravenous or intranasal drug use, incarceration or those having a sexually transmitted infection. Our purpose was to assess the epidemiology of HCV in North Central Florida.METHODS:
IRB approval was obtained for this retrospective descriptive study. Patients were identified through ICD-9 Diagnosis codes for HCV and pregnancy from 2009-2014. Data abstracted from medical records included demographic information, concomitant sexually transmitted infections, tobacco or substance abuse, transfusion history and tattoos.RESULTS:
Of 17,081 patients, 275 patients were identified with HCV (prevalence 1.6%). Mean age of those infected was 27.3 years old (range 16 to 49) with 89.1% Caucasian and 7.3% African American. Concomitant infections with Hepatitis B, HIV, chlamydia and herpes simplex occurred in 9%, 0.7%, 16% and 12% of patients, respectively. Most HCV patients smoked tobacco (89%); one third smoked cannabis (34%). A history of intravenous drug use was present in 75% and cocaine use in 37.5%. Although not a classical risk factor for HCV, prescription narcotic use was reported among 2/3 patients whereas 44% took non-prescribed narcotics. A minority of women had exposure to either tattoos 28.5% or blood transfusion 15%.CONCLUSION:
We identified prescribed and self-administered oral narcotic medication and tobacco use as additional risks for HCV. We suspect adhering to the current screening recommendations permits cases of HCV to be missed and that more widespread if not universal screening should be considered.