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Original Article
Estimation of the Frequency of Intravenous Drug Users in Hamadan City, Iran, Using the Capture-recapture Method
Salman Khazaei, Jalal Poorolajal, Hossein Mahjub, Nader Esmailnasab, Mohammad Mirzaei
Epidemiol Health. 2012;34:e2012006.   Published online October 31, 2012
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<sec><title>OBJECTIVES</title><p>The number of illicit drug users is prone to underestimation. This study aimed to use the capture-recapture method as a statistical procedure for measuring the prevalence of intravenous drug users (IDUs) by estimating the number of unknown IDUs not registered by any of the registry centers.</p></sec><sec><title>METHODS</title><p>This study was conducted in Hamadan City, the west of Iran, in 2012. Three incomplete data sources of IDUs, with partial overlapping data, were assessed including: (a) Volunteer Counseling and Testing Centers (VCTCs); (b) Drop in Centers (DICs); and (c) Outreach Teams (ORTs). A log-linear model was applied for the analysis of three-sample capture-recapture results. Two information criteria were used for model selection including Akaike's Information Criterion and the Bayesian Information Criterion.</p></sec><sec><title>RESULTS</title><p>Out of 1,478 IDUs registered by three centers, 48% were identified by VCTCs, 32% by DICs, and 20% by ORTs. After exclusion of duplicates, 1,369 IDUs remained. According to our findings, there were 9,964 (95% CI, 6,088 to 17,636) IDUs not identified by any of the centers. Hence, the real number of IDUs is expected to be 11,333. Based on these findings, the overall completeness of the three data sources was around 12% (95% CI, 7% to 18%).</p></sec><sec><title>CONCLUSION</title><p>There was a considerable number of IDUs not identified by any of the centers. Although the capture-recapture method is a useful and practical approach for estimating unknown populations, due to the assumptions and limitations of the method, the results must be interpreted with caution.</p></sec>


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • The prevalence of opioid use disorder in Kentucky’s counties: A two-year multi-sample capture-recapture analysis
    Katherine Thompson, Joshua A. Barocas, Chris Delcher, Jungjun Bae, Lindsey Hammerslag, Jianing Wang, Redonna Chandler, Jennifer Villani, Sharon Walsh, Jeffery Talbert
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence.2023; 242: 109710.     CrossRef
  • Estimating the Population Size of Female Sex Worker Population in Tehran, Iran: Application of Direct Capture–Recapture Method
    Manoochehr Karami, Salman Khazaei, Jalal Poorolajal, Alireza Soltanian, Mansour Sajadipoor
    AIDS and Behavior.2017; 21(8): 2394.     CrossRef
  • Using the capture-recapture method to estimate the human immunodeficiency virus-positive population
    Jalal Poorolajal, Younes Mohammadi, Farzad Farzinara
    Epidemiology and Health.2017; 39: e2017042.     CrossRef
  • Estimation of perinatal mortality rate for institutional births in Rajasthan state, India, using capture-recapture technique
    P. K. Mony, B. Varghese, T. Thomas
    BMJ Open.2015; 5(3): e005966.     CrossRef
  • Estimating the size of the population of persons who inject drugs in the island of Montréal, Canada, using a six-source capture–recapture model
    Pascale Leclerc, Alain C. Vandal, Aïssatou Fall, Julie Bruneau, Élise Roy, Suzanne Brissette, Chris Archibald, Nelson Arruda, Carole Morissette
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence.2014; 142: 174.     CrossRef
  • Heterogeneity and behavioral response in continuous time capture–recapture, with application to street cannabis use in Italy
    Alessio Farcomeni, Daria Scacciatelli
    The Annals of Applied Statistics.2013;[Epub]     CrossRef

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health