Epidemiology of hepatitis C viral infection in Faisalabad, Pakistan: a retrospective study (2010-2012)
Background: Hepatitis viral infections are major health challenge leading to high morbidity and mortality worldwide.
Objectives: Although the magnitude of hepatitis in Pakistan has been well documented, information regarding the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Faisalabad, Pakistan is scarce. The present retrospective study was undertaken to determine the epidemiology of HCV in Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Methods: Between May, 2010 and December, 2012, medical records of 39780 subjects visiting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) clinic, district headquarter (DHQ) hospital, Faisalabad, Pakistan were reviewed. Regression analysis was used to determine independent risk factors
Results: HCV prevalence was 21.99%. With mean age of 49.5 ± 2.7 years (range 27-63 years), majority (67.15%) of the individuals were male. Marital status and low literacy rates were associated with HCV (P<0.05). Reference to the potential risk factors, the injection drug use was the major mode (72.77%) of infection transmission. Age (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-1.9), male gender (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.9-1.6) and injection use (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0-2.7) were significantly associated with HCV.
Conclusions: Most important finding was higher HCV prevalence in Faisalabad region as compared to the previous assessments that demands an urgent need for preventive intervention strategies.
Keywords: hepatitis C; virus; blood transfusion