Monday, March 4, 2019

Hepatitis C among intravenous drug users in upper middle-income countries.

Estimating the prevalence of hepatitis C among intravenous drug users in upper middle income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Víctor Granados-García , Yvonne N. Flores, Lizbeth I. Díaz-Trejo, Lucia Méndez-Sánchez, Stephanie Liu, Guillermo Salinas-Escudero, Filiberto Toledano-Toledano, Jorge Salmerón

Published: February 26, 2019

This systematic review and meta-analysis characterizes the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among intravenous drug users (IDUs) in upper middle-income countries.

Five databases were searched from 1990–2016 for studies that took place in countries with a GDP per capita of $7,000 to $13,000 USD. The data extraction was performed based on information regarding prevalence, sample size, age of participants, duration of intravenous drug use (IDU), recruitment location, dates of data collection, study design, sampling scheme, type of tests used in identifying antibody reactivity to HCV, and the use of confirmatory tests. The synthesis was performed with a random effects model. The Cochrane statistical Q-test was used to evaluate the statistical heterogeneity of the results.

The 33 studies included in the analysis correspond to a sample of seven countries and 23,342 observations. The point prevalence value estimates and confidence intervals of the random effects model were 0.729 and 0.644–0.800, respectively for all seven countries, and were greatest for China (0.633; 0.522–0.732) as compared to Brazil (0.396; 0.249–0.564). Prevalence for Montenegro (0.416; 0.237–0.621) and Malaysia (0.475; 0.177–0.792) appear to be intermediate. Mexico (0.960) and Mauritania (0.973) had only one study with the largest prevalence. A clear association was not observed between age or duration of IDU and prevalence of HCV, but the data from some groups may indicate a possible relationship. The measures of heterogeneity (Q and I2) suggest a high level of heterogeneity in studies conducted at the country level and by groups of countries.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we found that the pooled prevalence of HCV was high (0.729) among a group of seven upper middle income countries. However, there was significant variation in the prevalence of HCV observed in China (0.633) and Brazil (0.396). 

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