The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) titled Trends in Hepatitis C Infection by Opioid Use Disorder Status Among Pregnant Women at Delivery Hospitalization — United States, 2000–2015. The report analyzed hospital discharge data from the 2000–2015 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and determined that opioid use disorder and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection rates significantly increased during this time period among women delivering in hospitals in the United States.
Among the key results, the U.S. rate of HCV infection at delivery increased from 0.8 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations in 2000 to 4.1 in 2015, including increases from 87.4 to 216.9 among women with opioid use disorder, and from 0.7 to 2.6 among women without opioid use disorder.
There are clear implications for public health practice in these findings. Most notably, treatment of opioid use disorder should include screening and referral for related conditions such as HCV infection.