Goal: Utilizing Mississippi’s hospital discharge data (HDD), we examined trends, demographics, comorbidities, in-hospital deaths, and hospital charges for hospitalizations with diagnoses for hepatitis C virus (HCV).Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of hospitalizations with primary or secondary HCV diagnoses. We performed descriptive and inferential statistical analyses using SAS 9.4. We compared categorical variables with chi-square tests and continuous variables with t-tests.Results: Between 2014 and 2018, patients hospitalized with an HCV diagnosis were more likely to have coexisting intravenous drug use (IDU) diagnoses compared to all other hospitalized patients (20.3% versus 3.3%, p < 0.001). From 2014 to 2018, hepatitis C infections associated with IDU spiked by 53.8%, fueling the overall increase in the number of hepatitis C hospitalizations in Mississippi. Almost one-third (31.8%) of all hepatitis C stays had a severe liver condition and 48.2% had nicotine dependence. The average charges for stays with coexisting HCV and decompensated cirrhosis were $65,975.Conclusions: In Mississippi, there has been a rapid increase in HCV hospitalizations associated with IDU. In addition, HCV hospitalizations were associated with severe morbidity burden and high economic expense. These findings underscore the need for measures aimed at containing the spread of this dangerous but preventable infection.


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