Sociodemographic Differences in the Distribution of Hepatitis C Virus Antibodies among Children with Sickle Cell Anaemia in Enugu, South East Nigeria
Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become an important cause of chronic liver disease and liver cancer worldwide. A study of the sociodemographic differences in the distribution of HCV antibodies (Anti-HCV) among those at risk will broaden knowledge of the problem among patients in this part of the country. Objective: To determine the sociodemographic differences in the distribution of HCV antibodies among transfused children with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) in Enugu and compare it with their non- transfused counterparts. Methodology: The study was conducted among two hundred and sixty-nine children with SCA attending the paediatrics sickle cell clinic at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, 136 transfused SCA patients as subjects and 133 age and sex matched non-transfused SCA as controls were studied. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the age and sex distribution of the anti-HCV positive subjects and controls P > 0.05. Majority of the subjects (66.7%) and control (71.4%) who tested positive were in lower socio-economic class. Conclusion: HCV infection is not uncommon in children with SCA. There is no significant difference in the sociodemographic characteristics of the HCV positive subjects and controls.
Keywords: Sociodemographic, Hepatitis C, Sickle cell anaemia