HEPATITIS C VIRUS TRANSMISSION RISK FACTORS
AbstractBackground: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is major health hazard. About 350 million people havebeen suffering from HCV infection in the world. HCV progresses into chronic liver disease in 50–80% of cases and may end up in cirrhosis. This study was carried out to explore the transmissionof risk factors for HCV. Methods: This prospective study included 210 consecutive HCV patientsof either sex, ranging from 20–69 years of age, referred to Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zyad Hospital/Combined Military Hospital, Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir. In patients having HCV positive byELISA, the PCR qualitative tests of HCV RNA were performed. A questionnaire was filled forevery patient regarding possible risk factors. Results: Most common risk factors among HCVpatients were surgical procedures (p<0.001), followed by injections (p<0.05), dental surgeries(p<0.010), ear and nose piercing (p<0.001), and shaving (p<0.001). Univariate analysis identifiedtattooing (p=0.033) also as an important risk factor. Conclusion: Multiple risk factors have beenidentified in nearly all HCV infected patients. The identification of multiple risk factors ofhepatitis C acquisition may have important implications in the approach to HCV surveillance,prevention, and management.Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Polymerase chain reaction, PCR, Risk Factors
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