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A systematic review of injecting-related injury and disease among people who inject drugs


Larney, S and Peacock, A and Mathers, BM and Hickman, M and Degenhardt, L, A systematic review of injecting-related injury and disease among people who inject drugs, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 171 pp. 39-49. ISSN 0376-8716 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.11.029


Background: Non-viral injecting-related injuries and diseases (IRID), such as abscesses and vascular damage, can result in significant morbidity and mortality if untreated. There has been no systematic assessment of the prevalence of non-viral IRID among people who inject drugs; this review aimed to address this gap, as well as identify risk factors for experience of specific IRID.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase and CINAHL databases to identify studies on the prevalence of, or risk factors for, IRID directly linked to injecting in samples of people who inject illicit drugs.

Results: We included 33 studies: 29 reported IRID prevalence in people who inject drugs, and 17 provided data on IRID risk factors. Skin and soft tissue infections at injecting sites were the most commonly reported IRID, with wide variation in lifetime prevalence (669%). Female sex, more frequent injecting, and intramuscular and subcutaneous injecting appear to be associated with skin and softtissue infections atinjecting sites. Cleaning injecting sites was protective against skin infections. Other IRID included infective endocarditis (lifetime prevalence ranging from 0.512%); sepsis (210%); bone and joint infections (0.52%); and thrombosis and emboli (327%).

Conclusions: There were significant gaps in the data, including a dearth of research on prevalence of IRID in low- and middle-income countries, and potential risk and protective factors for IRID. A consistent approach to measurement, including standardised definitions of IRID, is required for future research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:abscess, endocarditis, substance abuse, intravenous, people who inject drugs
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Peacock, A (Miss Amy Peacock)
ID Code:125234
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:115
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2018-04-09
Last Modified:2018-09-11

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