Adult inpatients with hepatitis C are much more likely to have mental health comorbidities, compared with those who do not have hepatitis C, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Drug abuse topped the list of hepatitis C psychiatric comorbidities in 2014, presenting in 29.4% of inpatient stays, compared with 4.6% of stays that did not involve hepatitis C. Other psychiatric conditions that were more frequent in hepatitis C patients were alcohol abuse (21.5% of hepatitis C–related hospitalizations and 4.6% of all others), depression (15.7% vs. 11.3%), and psychoses (13.4% vs. 4.8%), the agency said in a statistical brief .

All four comorbidities skewed younger, and the oldest patients (73 years and older) with hepatitis C presented with each condition at about the same rate as the non–hepatitis C population. The proportions of hepatitis C–related inpatient stays with alcohol abuse by age, for example, were 20.5% for 18-51 years, 23.3% for those aged 52-72, and 5.8% for the 73-and-older group, according to data from the National Inpatient Sample, which includes more than 95% of all discharges from community (short-term, nonfederal, nonrehabilitation) hospitals in the United States.

rfranki@frontlinemedcom.com

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