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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Incidence of hepatitis C virus infection and associated risk factors among Scottish prison inmates: a cohort study

Champion, J.K. and Taylor, A. and Hutchinson, S. and Cameron, S. and McMenamin, J. and Mitchell, A. and Goldberg, D.J. (2004) Incidence of hepatitis C virus infection and associated risk factors among Scottish prison inmates: a cohort study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 159 (5). pp. 514-519. ISSN 0002-9262

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Abstract

To gauge the incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and associated risk factors among inmates during their imprisonment, the authors recruited adult males in a long-stay Scottish prison into a cohort study between April 1999 and October 2000. On two occasions (at 0 and 6 months), saliva was collected for anonymous HCV antibody testing and risk behavior data were obtained through a self-administered questionnaire. The participation rate was 85% at both initial recruitment (612/719) and follow-up (375/441; 171 men were ineligible for follow-up). For inmates who reported never having injected drugs, ever having injected drugs, having injected drugs during follow-up, and having shared needles/syringes during follow-up, HCV incidences per 100 person-years of incarceration risk were 1, 12, 19, and 27, respectively. Ever having injected drugs (relative risk = 13.0, 95% confidence interval: 1.5, 114.3) and having shared needles/syringes during follow-up (relative risk = 9.0, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 71.7) were significantly associated with HCV seroconversion. The effectiveness of existing interventions, including the provision of bleach tablets for sterilizing injection equipment, was suboptimal. The development of methadone maintenance programs in prisons and the creation of drug courts to keep offending drug injectors out of prison might help to reduce transmission in this setting.