455. Increase in Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Opioid-related Deaths in Urban Versus Rural Areas of Louisiana from 2012-2015
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Hepatitis C
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Room: Poster Hall
  • IDWeekHCV2016-FINAL.pdf (576.9 kB)
  • Background:

    The primary risk factor for HCV infections is exposure to infected blood through injection drug use. Louisiana (LA) has seen a substantial increase in heroin use in the last four years. The purpose of this study was to identify the trends in HCV diagnosis and opioid-related deaths in urban and rural areas of LA from 2012-2015.


    The HCV diagnosis trends were calculated using data from the LA Hepatitis C Register. Opioid-related deaths were extracted from the LA Vital Statistics records, using ICD10 codes for IDU deaths (T40.1-T40.4). The Vital Statistics records from 2013 to 2015 are preliminary. Urban and rural areas were determined by LA metropolitan areas as classified by the US Census Bureau. Comparisons for the 2012 and 2015 years were mapped using ArcGIS (version 10.2.2).


    There was an increase in both HCV diagnosis and opioid-related deaths in LA from 2012-2015. The overall cases of opioid-related deaths increased from 155 to 245 total from 2012 to 2015, respectively. The geographic distributions of HCV diagnoses and opioid-related deaths from 2012 and 2015 are demonstrated in Figures 1 and 2. While the majority of HCV cases are still found in urban areas, rural HCV diagnosis rate increased 67.3% over the four year period, while the urban HCV diagnosis rate increased by only 7.4% (Figure 3).


    Although the association between Intravenous Drug Uses (IDU) and HCV infection has been well established, a direct association between the increase in IDU and HCV cases cannot be made with the data presented at this time. However, the increase of both simultaneously suggests an ecological correlation. The importance of recognizing the increasing trends of HCV diagnoses and opioid-related deaths in LA is essential for prevention strategies for both HCV and HIV and harm reduction. Furthermore, the significant increase in rural HCV diagnosis raises concern about potentially unidentified risk factors in these areas and the importance of continued awareness and access to testing and treatment for HCV in rural LA.









    Figure 1: HCV diagnosis rate per 100,000 population- LA 2012 and 2015












    Figure 2: Opioid-related Death Reports per 100,000 population- LA 2012 and 2015












    Figure 3: Urban versus Rural HCV diagnosis –LA 2012-2015

    Chandra M Becka, MD1, Zack E Bryant, MD1, Dielda Robertson, BS2 and Raoult Ratard, MD, MPH & TM, FACPM2, (1)Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, (2)Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals, New Orleans, LA


    C. M. Becka, None

    Z. E. Bryant, None

    D. Robertson, None

    R. Ratard, None

    See more of: Hepatitis C
    See more of: Poster Abstract Session

    Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. CDT, Wednesday Oct. 26th with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.