The extent of injection site infection in injecting drug users: Findings from a national surveillance study

V. D. Hope, A. Marongiu, John Parry, Fortune Ncube

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Injection site infections in injecting drug users (IDUs) are associated with serious morbidity and healthcare costs. Factors associated with symptoms of these were examined through annual (2006-2008) unlinked-anonymous survey of IDUs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Overall 36% (1863/5209) self-reported having a symptom with no trend over time (35% 2006, 37% 2007, 34% 2008). Symptoms were less common in the North East of England; increased with years injecting; and were higher in women, those recently homeless, those recently using a needle exchange, and those injecting both opiates and stimulants. Of those injecting during the previous 4 weeks (n=3733) symptoms were associated with: injecting daily; injecting 10 times a day; injecting into hands, groin, or legs; sharing filters; and reusing water to flush syringes. Symptoms of injection site infections are common in IDUs. Better-targeted preventive interventions are needed, and continued surveillance should assist with assessing the impact of new initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1518
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume138
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • Injecting drug-users (IDUs)
  • skin infections
  • surveillance

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