Patterns of Healthcare Utilization Among Veterans Infected With Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Coinfected With HIV/HCV: Unique Burdens of Disease.

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Katrak, Shereen
Park, Lawrence P
Woods, Christopher
Muir, Andrew
Hicks, Charles
Naggie, Susanna

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Background.  Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of cirrhosis and the primary cause of liver transplantation in the United States, and coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) increases the risk of comorbidities. However, healthcare utilization (HCU) patterns among HIV/HCV-coinfected patients are poorly understood. This study compared the rates of HCU and reasons for hospital admission among HCV-infected, HIV-infected, and HIV/HCV-coinfected veterans. Methods.  Hepatitis C virus- and HIV-infected and HIV/HCV-coinfected veterans in care with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from 1998 to 2009 (n = 335 371, n = 28 179, n = 13 471, respectively) were identified by HIV- and HCV-associated International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes from the clinical case registry. We assessed rates of HCU using emergency department (ED) visits, outpatient visits, and hospitalization and primary diagnoses associated with hospitalization. Independent risk factors associated with hospitalization were also examined. Results.  Rates of outpatient and ED visits increased over the 11-year study period for all groups, with inpatient admission rates remaining stable. The HCU rates were consistently higher for the coinfected than other cohorts. The primary reason for hospital admission for all groups was psychiatric disease/substance use, accounting for 44% of all admissions. Nadir CD4 <350 cells/mm3 was associated with higher rates of hospitalization versus nadir CD4 >500 cells/mm3. Conclusions.  As the current population of HCV-infected, HIV-infected, and HIV/HCV-coinfected veterans age, they will continue to place a substantial and increasing demand on the US healthcare system, particularly in their utilization of ED and outpatient services. These data suggest the need for an ongoing investment in mental health and primary care within the VA healthcare system.





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Katrak, Shereen, Lawrence P Park, Christopher Woods, Andrew Muir, Charles Hicks and Susanna Naggie (2016). Patterns of Healthcare Utilization Among Veterans Infected With Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Coinfected With HIV/HCV: Unique Burdens of Disease. Open forum infectious diseases, 3(3). p. ofw173. 10.1093/ofid/ofw173 Retrieved from

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Christopher Wildrick Woods

Wolfgang Joklik Distinguished Professor of Global Health

1. Emerging Infections
2. Global Health
3. Epidemiology of infectious diseases
4. Clinical microbiology and diagnostics
5. Bioterrorism Preparedness
6. Surveillance for communicable diseases
7. Antimicrobial resistance


Andrew Joseph Muir

Professor of Medicine
  • Hepatitis C 
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Clinical Trials
  • Healthcare disparities in liver disease 
  • Outcomes Research

Susanna Naggie

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Susanna Naggie completed her undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her medical education at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She conducted her internal medicine and infectious diseases fellowship training at Duke University Medical Center, where she also served as Chief Resident. She joined the faculty in the Duke School of Medicine in 2009. She is a Professor of Medicine and currently holds appointments at the Duke University School of Medicine, at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Naggie is a clinical investigator with a focus in clinical trials in infectious diseases and translational research in HIV and liver disease. She is a standing member of the DHHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents and the CDC/NIH/IDSA-HIVMA Opportunistic Infections Guideline. She is the Vice Dean for Clinical and Translational Research and Director for the Duke Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

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