Prevalence and Risk Factors of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Amol City, North of Iran: A Population-Based Study (2008-2011)

Zamani, Farhad; Sohrabi, Masoudreza; Poustchi, Hossein; Keyvani, Hossein; Saeedian, Fatemeh Sima; Ajdarkosh, Hossein; Khoonsari, Mahood; Hemmasi, Gholamreza; Moradilakeh, Maziar; Motamed, Nima; Maadi, Masoumeh
December 2013
Hepatitis Monthly;Dec2013, Vol. 13 Issue 12, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection is one of the most important causes of chronic liver disease and related problems in the world .There are few population-based studies on the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C infection in Iran, which could not provide enough information. Moreover, the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C infection are not similar in all parts of Iran. Objectives: The aim of this survey was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of HCV infection in the general population of the city of Amol, north of Iran. Patients and Methods: This was a population-based study. Using a cluster sampling approach, 6145 individuals of both genders and different ages were involved from general population of urban and rural areas of Amol, The inclusion criteria were Iranian nationality, willing to participate in the study, and lifelong residence in Amol city and surrounding areas. Anti-hepatitis C antibody was measured by a third generation of ELISA. The positive results were confirmed by Recombinant Immuno Blot Assay (RIBA) and quantitative HCV-RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Potential risk factors of HCV transmission were recorded. Results: The mean age of participants was 42.70 ± 17.10 years. Of these participants, 57.2% (n = 3483) were male. Anti-HCV antibody was positive in 12 individuals from which five were RIBA positive. Three of these subjects were PCR positive. The prevalence of HCV was more predominant among males than females. The common risk factors among the study subjects included history of minor or major surgery (34.7%), unsterile punctures (21.2%), history of traditional phlebotomy (5.8%), and history of hepatitis among close relatives (5.7%). In univariate regression analysis, unsterile punctures and history of infection in family members were associated with HCV infection. Conclusions: We confirm that in Amol city and surrounding areas, the prevalence of true HCV infection is 0.05%, which is lower than that previously reported from Iran.


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