The use of heroin and other injectable drugs are contributing to the rise in hepatitis C infections among white youth in Massachusetts, according to a report by the state’s Department of Public Health.
Reuters reports that injection drug use was the most common factor for transmission of hepatitis C among young people ages 15 to 24 in 2002 through 2009. In an editorial, the researchers called the findings a disturbing trend, and note that law enforcement officials from other areas of the country are also seeing a rise in heroin use, especially among younger users. Hepatitis C is often passed through contaminated blood in people sharing needles for illegal drug use.
The findings were published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.