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Hepatitis C Among Women of Reproductive Age in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: A Vulnerability-Focused Report

Laskowski, Calli (2022) Hepatitis C Among Women of Reproductive Age in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: A Vulnerability-Focused Report. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background/Objective: Hepatitis C, a liver condition caused by bloodborne hepatitis C virus (HCV), can cause permanent liver damage. According to CDC, most new cases are associated with injection drug use (IDU). Hepatitis C is concerning among women of reproductive age (WRA), who can transmit HCV to their unborn children. The aims of this report are to describe the epidemiology of hepatitis C among women of reproductive age in Allegheny County and assess the association of the social vulnerability of the community at the ecological level.
Methods: Individual-level data was obtained from PA-NEDSS, Pennsylvania’s version of the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System. Social vulnerability at the census tract level was assessed using the CDC/ATSDR’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), an index composed of 15 variables across 4 categories that seeks to quantify social vulnerability. After data cleaning was completed, Poisson regression analyses were performed using SAS EG to assess the degree of association between SVI and HCV case count at the census tract level.
Results: The majority of cases were classified as confirmed, White, non-Hispanic, in the 25-34-year-old age group. Risk factor information was unknown for 67% of cases, but for those who had risk factor information available, 26% reported close contact with an HCV case and 74% reported a history of IDU. Only 23% of cases reported that they were currently receiving medical care for their HCV and only 19% reported ever receiving treatment. The Poisson regression analyses showed that the overall SVI was a significant predictor of ecological case count, but when further broken down into its four component subcategories, the component SVI related to socioeconomic status proved to be the only significant predictor.
Discussion: Demographic, risk factor, and treatment characteristics of our population of interest aligned closely with characteristics described in the literature. This report holds public health significance because it has quantified the association of poverty and HCV infection at the census tract level in Allegheny County, providing the foundation for individual-level focused research and better-informed intervention programs in the future.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Laskowski, Callical188@pitt.educal188
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHill, AshleyAVH16@pitt.eduavh16UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberOrkis, Laurenlmt61@pitt.edulmt16UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberElias, Thistleelias@pitt.edueliasUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBieltz, Rachaelrachael.bieltz@alleghenycounty.usUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 17 May 2022
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 27 April 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 46
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: hepatitis c; social vulnerability; women of reproductive age
Date Deposited: 17 May 2022 21:40
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 05:15


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