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Prevalence and predictors of hepatitis C infection among antenatal attendees in a tertiary hospital in Southern Nigeria

Ganiyu Oluwedolapo Shittu
Aniekan Monday Abasiattai
Aniefiok Jackson Umoiyoho
Ifeanyi Abraham Onwuezobe


Background: Hepatitis C virus infection as it specifically relates to pregnancy has been a neglected condition, thus its recognition
and treatment in pregnancy is relevant because of the risks of the long-term complications of the infection in the mother,
potential effects of the infection on the pregnancy and risk of vertical transmission to the newborn.

Objectives: To determine the proportion of pregnant women with serologic markers of hepatitis C infection, identify risk factors
as well as factors that predict the occurrence of the infection in them.

Methodology: Over a 3-week period, blood samples from 456 pregnant women were assessed for antibodies to hepatitis C
virus, while a pre-tested questionnaire was used to obtain socio-demographic data and the presence of risk factors in the University
of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

Results: The prevalence of HCV infection in pregnancy was 4.6%. No known risk factors for HCV infection in pregnancy were
identified. Only increasing gestational age was a predictor of HCV infection in pregnancy in the study.

Conclusion: The prevalence of hepatitis virus infection among the study population was high. Second trimester and increasing
gravidity were protective of the infection in pregnancy. There is therefore need for introduction of general routine screening of
all pregnant women presenting for antenatal care.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus infection; pregnant women; Uyo; prevalence of hepatitis C.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905