Hepatitis B and C among veterans on a psychiatric ward

James H. Tabibian, Donna A. Wirshing, Joseph M. Pierre, Lisa H. Guzik, Michael D. Kisicki, Itai Danovitch, Shirley J. Mena, William C. Wirshing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Hepatitis B and C are public health problems. Psychiatric patients may be at risk of hepatitis B and C exposure due to lifestyle and inadequate health care. We aimed to determine prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus exposure and associated risk factors in acutely hospitalized psychiatric veterans. A total of 234 individuals consecutively admitted to the psychiatric wards at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital were asked to participate. A total of 129 patients consented and were screened for viral hepatitis risk factors, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B surface and core antibodies, and hepatitis C antibodies. About 31 and 38% of the patients had been exposed to hepatitis B and C viruses, respectively. Several risk factors were associated with exposure. Inpatient psychiatric veterans seem to have increased rates of hepatitis B and C exposure. This highlights the need for prevention of risk behavior in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1693-1698
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Epidemiology
  • Hepatitis
  • Psychiatric
  • Risk factors
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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