Title

Seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus: The first population-based study from Iran

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2010

Abstract

Objective: Early studies on blood donors point to a seroprevalence of approximately 0.25% for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Iran. However, the true prevalence in the general population is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of HCV infection in the general population of Iran. Methods: We randomly selected 6583 subjects from three provinces in Iran for inclusion in the study. Subjects were aged between 18 and 65 years. Anti-hepatitis C antibody was tested by a third-generation ELISA test. A recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) test was used to confirm the results. Risk factors were recorded and a multivariate analysis was performed. Results: A total of 5684 plasma samples were tested. After confirmatory tests, we found 50 cases of HCV. The overall weighted prevalence of anti-HCV was 0.5%. The rate was significantly higher in men (1.0%) than in women (0.1%). In multivariate analysis, male sex, history of intravenous drug abuse, and imprisonment were significantly associated with anti-HCV. Conclusions: We found the prevalence of HCV infection in Iran to be higher than previous estimates. It appears that the rate is rising, and in the future, hepatitis C will replace hepatitis B as the most common cause of chronic viral liver disease in Iran. © 2010 International Society for Infectious Diseases.

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