HealthDay News — Among women giving birth, the rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increased more than 400% from 2000 to 2015, with rates much higher among those with opioid use disorder, according to research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jean Y. Ko, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed hospital discharge data from the 2000 to 2015 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project to examine the change in HCV infection trends among pregnant women based on opioid disorder status at delivery.

The researchers observed an increase of more than 400% in the national rate of HCV infection among women giving birth during this period, from 0.8 to 4.1 per 1000 deliveries. Rates of HCV infection increased 148% among women with opioid use disorder, from 87.4 to 216.9 per 1000 deliveries; rates were much lower among those without opioid use disorders, but increased 271% from 0.7 to 2.6 per 1000 deliveries.

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“HCV infection rates at delivery were significantly higher among women with opioid use disorder than among those who did not have opioid use disorder,” the authors write. “Treatment of opioid use disorder should include screening and referral for related conditions such as HCV infection.”

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