Sharing of Snorting Straws and Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Pregnant Women

Noelle Fernandez, Craig Towers, Lynlee Wolfe, Mark Hennessy, Beth Weitz, Stephanie Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate possible modes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) acquisition in pregnant women found to be HCV-infected in the prenatal period and to assess transmission risk factors. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study conducted from March 2014 through June 2015 involving the distribution of an anonymous survey to HCV-infected pregnant women that assessed for numerous modes of potential HCV transmission involving, intravenous drug use, blood transfusion, organ transplant, sexual contact, tattoos, and snorting drugs with a straw. Participants were drawn from our institutional obstetric high-risk clinic. Statistical analysis involved simple percentages and χ 2 comparisons where appropriate; P<.05 was considered significant. To test biologic plausibility, snorting utensils confiscated by law enforcement authorities from patients not in this study were tested for the presence of human blood. RESULTS: A total of 189 HCV-infected pregnant patients completed the survey, and no approached patients declined. Of these, 136 (72%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 65-78%) admitted to intravenous drug use, of whom 89 (65%, 95% CI 57-73%) reported sharing needles. Of the 178 (94%, 95% CI 90-97%) who admitted snorting drugs, 164 (92%, 95% CI 87-96%) reported sharing straws. The difference between the proportion reporting sharing of snorting utensils compared with the proportion sharing intravenous drug use utensils was significant (P<.001). Twenty-nine patients (15%, 95% CI 11-21%) reported snorting drugs and sharing straws but denied any other risk factor except sexual contact. Of the 54 straws confiscated by law enforcement authorities, 13 (24%, 95% CI 13-38%) tested positive for the presence of human blood. CONCLUSION: Sharing snorting utensils (straws) in noninjection drug use may be an additional risk factor for HCV and other virus transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-237
Number of pages4
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Volume128
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

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Virus Diseases
Hepacivirus
Pregnant Women
Confidence Intervals
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Law Enforcement
Needle Sharing
Blood Transfusion
Obstetrics
Cohort Studies
Prospective Studies
Viruses
Transplants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Sharing of Snorting Straws and Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Pregnant Women. / Fernandez, Noelle; Towers, Craig; Wolfe, Lynlee; Hennessy, Mark; Weitz, Beth; Porter, Stephanie.

In: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 128, No. 2, 01.08.2016, p. 234-237.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "OBJECTIVE: To evaluate possible modes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) acquisition in pregnant women found to be HCV-infected in the prenatal period and to assess transmission risk factors. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study conducted from March 2014 through June 2015 involving the distribution of an anonymous survey to HCV-infected pregnant women that assessed for numerous modes of potential HCV transmission involving, intravenous drug use, blood transfusion, organ transplant, sexual contact, tattoos, and snorting drugs with a straw. Participants were drawn from our institutional obstetric high-risk clinic. Statistical analysis involved simple percentages and χ 2 comparisons where appropriate; P<.05 was considered significant. To test biologic plausibility, snorting utensils confiscated by law enforcement authorities from patients not in this study were tested for the presence of human blood. RESULTS: A total of 189 HCV-infected pregnant patients completed the survey, and no approached patients declined. Of these, 136 (72{\%}, 95{\%} confidence interval [CI] 65-78{\%}) admitted to intravenous drug use, of whom 89 (65{\%}, 95{\%} CI 57-73{\%}) reported sharing needles. Of the 178 (94{\%}, 95{\%} CI 90-97{\%}) who admitted snorting drugs, 164 (92{\%}, 95{\%} CI 87-96{\%}) reported sharing straws. The difference between the proportion reporting sharing of snorting utensils compared with the proportion sharing intravenous drug use utensils was significant (P<.001). Twenty-nine patients (15{\%}, 95{\%} CI 11-21{\%}) reported snorting drugs and sharing straws but denied any other risk factor except sexual contact. Of the 54 straws confiscated by law enforcement authorities, 13 (24{\%}, 95{\%} CI 13-38{\%}) tested positive for the presence of human blood. CONCLUSION: Sharing snorting utensils (straws) in noninjection drug use may be an additional risk factor for HCV and other virus transmission.",
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AU - Porter, Stephanie

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N2 - OBJECTIVE: To evaluate possible modes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) acquisition in pregnant women found to be HCV-infected in the prenatal period and to assess transmission risk factors. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study conducted from March 2014 through June 2015 involving the distribution of an anonymous survey to HCV-infected pregnant women that assessed for numerous modes of potential HCV transmission involving, intravenous drug use, blood transfusion, organ transplant, sexual contact, tattoos, and snorting drugs with a straw. Participants were drawn from our institutional obstetric high-risk clinic. Statistical analysis involved simple percentages and χ 2 comparisons where appropriate; P<.05 was considered significant. To test biologic plausibility, snorting utensils confiscated by law enforcement authorities from patients not in this study were tested for the presence of human blood. RESULTS: A total of 189 HCV-infected pregnant patients completed the survey, and no approached patients declined. Of these, 136 (72%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 65-78%) admitted to intravenous drug use, of whom 89 (65%, 95% CI 57-73%) reported sharing needles. Of the 178 (94%, 95% CI 90-97%) who admitted snorting drugs, 164 (92%, 95% CI 87-96%) reported sharing straws. The difference between the proportion reporting sharing of snorting utensils compared with the proportion sharing intravenous drug use utensils was significant (P<.001). Twenty-nine patients (15%, 95% CI 11-21%) reported snorting drugs and sharing straws but denied any other risk factor except sexual contact. Of the 54 straws confiscated by law enforcement authorities, 13 (24%, 95% CI 13-38%) tested positive for the presence of human blood. CONCLUSION: Sharing snorting utensils (straws) in noninjection drug use may be an additional risk factor for HCV and other virus transmission.

AB - OBJECTIVE: To evaluate possible modes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) acquisition in pregnant women found to be HCV-infected in the prenatal period and to assess transmission risk factors. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study conducted from March 2014 through June 2015 involving the distribution of an anonymous survey to HCV-infected pregnant women that assessed for numerous modes of potential HCV transmission involving, intravenous drug use, blood transfusion, organ transplant, sexual contact, tattoos, and snorting drugs with a straw. Participants were drawn from our institutional obstetric high-risk clinic. Statistical analysis involved simple percentages and χ 2 comparisons where appropriate; P<.05 was considered significant. To test biologic plausibility, snorting utensils confiscated by law enforcement authorities from patients not in this study were tested for the presence of human blood. RESULTS: A total of 189 HCV-infected pregnant patients completed the survey, and no approached patients declined. Of these, 136 (72%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 65-78%) admitted to intravenous drug use, of whom 89 (65%, 95% CI 57-73%) reported sharing needles. Of the 178 (94%, 95% CI 90-97%) who admitted snorting drugs, 164 (92%, 95% CI 87-96%) reported sharing straws. The difference between the proportion reporting sharing of snorting utensils compared with the proportion sharing intravenous drug use utensils was significant (P<.001). Twenty-nine patients (15%, 95% CI 11-21%) reported snorting drugs and sharing straws but denied any other risk factor except sexual contact. Of the 54 straws confiscated by law enforcement authorities, 13 (24%, 95% CI 13-38%) tested positive for the presence of human blood. CONCLUSION: Sharing snorting utensils (straws) in noninjection drug use may be an additional risk factor for HCV and other virus transmission.

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