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Int J STD AIDS. 2004 Jan;15(1):7-16.

The global burden of disease attributable to contaminated injections given in health care settings.

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Department of Essential Health Technologies, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, CH1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.


As part of the 2000 Global Burden of Disease study, we quantified the death and disability from injection-associated infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We modelled the fraction of incident infections attributable to health care injections in the year 2000 on the basis of the annual number of injections, the proportion of injections administered with reused equipment, the probability of transmission following percutaneous exposure, the prevalence of active infection, the prevalence of immunity and the total incidence. Infections in 2000 were converted into disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2000-2030 using natural history parameters, background mortality, duration of disease, disability weights, age weights and a 3% discount rate. Four Global Burden of Disease regions where reuse of injection equipment in the absence of sterilization was negligible were excluded from the analysis. In the remaining 10 regions, in 2000, persons received an average of 3.4 injections per year, 39.3% of which were given with reused equipment. In 2000, contaminated injections caused an estimated 21 million HBV infections, two million HCV infections and 260,000 HIV infections, accounting for 32%, 40% and 5%, respectively, of new infections for a burden of 9,177,679 DALYs between 2000 and 2030. Injection overuse and unsafe practices account for a substantial burden of death and disability worldwide. There is a need for policies and plans for the safe and appropriate use of injections in countries where practices are poor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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