Prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus in euthyroid patients
Purpose: To determine the prevalence of hepatic infections, viz, hepatitis B (HBV) virus and hepatitis C virus (HCV), in the euthyroid population of Southern Punjab Province of Pakistan.
Methods: A total of 120 euthyroid patients (36 male and 84 female) with a mean age of 30.7 ± 0.09 years) were included in this study. HBV and HCV, as well as the thyroid hormones, namely, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) were detected in the serum of the subjects using commercial kits.
Results: Out of 120 subjects 4 (3.3 %) were positive for HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen) and 18 (15 %) for anti-HCV. HCV infection was approximately 4 times higher than HBV infection (p = 0.00028). Prevalence of HBsAg in males (8 %) was significantly higher than in females (1.2 %, p = 0.006345) whereas prevalence of HCV in males (16.7 %) was not significantly different from that in females (14.2 %, p = 0.521303). HCV (16.7 %) was significantly higher than HBV infection (8.33 %, p = 0.0102) in male sufferers. Similarly, among females patients, the incidence of HCV (14.2 %) was significantly higher (p = 0.000011) than HBV infection (1.2 %).
Conclusion: The prevalence of HCV is higher than that of HBV in the studied population; furthermore, this prevalence of HCV is higher than values reported in other studies. The high level of HCV infection in the studied population is of concern, indicating the need for preventive measures to be put in place.
Keywords: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Prevalence, Euthyroid
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