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RMJ. 2004; 29(2): 57-60

Seroprevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Mardan, NWFP: a hospital based study.

Muhammad Sheraz Akbar Khan, Muhammad Khalid, Najma Ayub,. Muhammad Javed.

Objective: To asses the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and risk factors among hospital patients in District Headquarter Hospital Mardan.
Material and Methods: We used ACON Laboratories, Inc. HCV One Step Test Device (USA) kit to test for the qualitative detection of antibodies to Hepatitis C Virus in serum. All patients were asked and completed an HCV questionnaire. The questionnaire asked, what factors or activities put people at risk for getting HCV and question about their own risk factors and general habits. In each case, details regarding socioeconomic status were recorded.
Result: The study population comprised of 700 patients, 523 (74.7%) males and 177 (25.3%) females with mean age 32.16  13.08 years. The overall seroprevalence was found to be 9%. The seroprevalence in males and females was 7.8% and 12.4% respectively. History of reused syringes, blood transfusion, dental procedure and surgical operation were significant risk factors for acquiring HCV infection. General weakness was the commonest symptom in HCV positive patients. Smoking and naswar (tobacco) were common in HCV positive male patients.
Conclusion: The overall seroprevalence was found to be 9% in Mardan. History of reused syringes, blood transfusion, dental procedures and surgical operations were significant risk factors for acquiring HCV infection. The prevention of HCV infection can be achieved by blood screening for HCV before donation, avoiding sharing needles or any injecting equipment and following safe sexual practices. (Rawal Med J 2004;29:57-60)

Key words: Hepatitis C, seroprevalence, risk factors

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