FREQUENCY OF HEPATITIS B IN ASYMPTOMATIC PATIENTS OF DISTRICT HEADQUARTER HOSPITAL KOTLI, AZAD KASHMIR
AbstractBackground: Hepatitis B is prevalent throughout the world including Pakistan. A large proportion ofpatients suffering from Hepatitis B may be asymptomatic and can transmit the disease to healthypopulation. Objectives of this study were to estimate the frequency of Hepatitis B in asymptomaticadult population coming to District Headquarter Hospital Kotli, Azad Kashmir and to determine therisk factors associated with its transmission. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study extending fromJanuary to December 2008. Subjects were randomly selected from those who attended the medial OPDof DHQ Hospital Kotli, Azad Kashmir for non-Hepatitis related problems. Both males and femalesbetween the ages of 15–80 years were included in the study. Blood samples taken from selectedsubjects were analysed for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) by Immunochromatographic kitmethods (ICT). Hepatitis B positive samples were further confirmed by third generation ELIZA. Thepatients thus confirmed were interrogated for different risk factors associated with transmission ofHepatitis B. Results: A total of 9,564 patients were analysed. Out of them 4230 (44.22%) were malesand 5334 (55.77%) were females. Overall 141 (1.47%) patients were positive for HBSAg, 71 (1.68%)males and 70 (1.31%) females. Patients between 21–30 years of age were most commonly effected(35.46%, n=50). Blood transfusion was the most common risk factor (24.82%, n=35) associated withHepatitis B transmission followed by dental procedures (14.18%, n=20). Conclusion: Frequency ofHepatitis B in asymptomatic people in this study was quite high. Blood transfusions and dentalprocedures were the most common risk factors associated with the transmission of Hepatitis B.Keywords: Hepatitis B, HBsAg, asymptomatic carriers, risk factors
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