Synthesis: HCV Epidemiology and Prevention in Drug Users
Funded by: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Project dates: August 2004 - July 2008
Principal Investigator: Hagan, Holly

Since the discovery of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 1989, hundreds of studies and surveys have been conducted to characterize its occurrence in drug users. There has been a lot of HCV research since its discovery, and questions have arisen how to synthesize what is known, explain inconsistencies, find similarities, and determine what is still unknown. A meta-analysis was conducted to reconcile contradictory research findings.  A meta-analysis is a quantitative method of combining the results of multiple studies addressing the same research question. This meta-analysis examined previous research regarding factors that may influence HCV transmission, the length of the period of susceptibility to HCV, when prevention can occur, the extent of HCV infection in those who smoke or sniff drugs, and the magnitude and future course of HIV/HCV co-infection in people who inject drugs.  The findings of the study were used to inform policy on effective HCV prevention, medical management of HCV and HIV/HCV co-infection, and to set the future HCV research agenda.

Abstract on NIH RePORTER
Related Publications
Hagan H, Des Jarlais DC, Pouget E (2012).
Reply to “High-quality meta-analyses are required for development of evidence in medicine”
Journal of Infectious Diseases, 205 (9), 1473. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis225.

Pouget ER, Hagan H, Des Jarlais DC (2012).
Meta-analysis of hepatitis C seroconversion in relation to shared syringes and drug preparation equipment
Addiction, 107 (6), 1057-1065. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03765.x. PMCID: PMC3348401.

Lelutiu-Weinberger C, Pouget ER, Des Jarlais D, Cooper HL, Scheinmann R, Stern R, Strauss SM, Hagan H (2009).
A meta-analysis of the hepatitis C virus distribution in diverse racial/ethnic drug injector groups
Social Science and Medicine, 68 (3), 579-590. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.10.011. PMCID: PMC3718002.

Hagan H, Pouget ER, Des Jarlais DC, Lelutiu-Weinberger C (2008).
Meta-regression of hepatitis C virus infection in relation to time since onset of illicit drug injection: The influence of time and place
American Journal of Epidemiology, 168 (10), 1099-1109. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn237. PMCID: PMC2727245.

Stern RK, Hagan H, Lelutiu-Weinberger C, Des Jarlais DC, Scheinmann R, Strauss S, Pouget ER, Flom P (2008).
The HCV Synthesis Project: Scope, methodology, and preliminary results
BMC Medical Research Methodology, 14 (8), 62. doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-8-62. PMCID: PMC2546430.

Hagan H, Des Jarlais DC, Stern R, Lelutiu-Weinberger C, Scheinmann R, Strauss S, Flom PL (2007).
HCV Synthesis Project: Preliminary analyses of HCV prevalence in relation to age and duration of injection
International Journal of Drug Policy, 18 (5), 341-351. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.01.016.

Scheinmann R, Hagan H, Lelutiu-Weinberger C, Stern R, Des Jarlais DC, Flom PL, Strauss S (2007).
Non-injection drug use and hepatitis C virus: A systematic review
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 89 (1), 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.11.014. PMCID: PMC1892753.

Hagan H, Thiede H, Des Jarlais DC (2005).
HIV/hepatitis C virus co-infection in drug users: Risk behavior and prevention
AIDS, 19 (Suppl 3), S199-S207. Publisher's Website.