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Eur J Epidemiol. 1998 Jun;14(4):333-7.

Hepatitis B and C markers among alcoholics in Israel: high incidence of HCV infection.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Microbiology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Haifa, Israel. srugoi@techunix.technion/ac.il

Abstract

Patients with alcoholic liver disease have an increased prevalence of viral hepatitis. However, the role of demographic characteristics has not been adequately delineated. Therefore, we examined and compared the seroprevalences of hepatitis B and C in Israeli alcoholic patients to that of blood donors control group by their country of birth and origin. Hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B core antibody and hepatitis C virus antibody testing (second generation ELISA) and a confirmatory recombinant immunoblot assay was performed on 496 alcoholic attending an alcoholic abstinence program and compared to 193,806 randomly non-alcoholic blood donors on the basis of their country of birth. Three hundred twenty-eight alcoholic patients (66%) were immigrants and Israeli born Jews and 168 (34%) were Israeli Arabs. Of the 496 alcoholic patients, 24 (4.8%) were HBsAg positive, 38 (7.6%) were anti HCV positive, and 2 (North African Jews) were positive for both markers. HBsAg was detected in 13 (3.9%) immigrant and Israeli Jews and 11 (6.5%) Israeli Arabs, significantly higher than in the adjusted non alcoholic blood donors (p < 0.01). Anti-HCV was detected in 33 (10%) immigrants and Israeli Jews and 5 (2.9%) Israeli Arabs, significantly higher than in the control group (p < 0.005). In the subgroup alcoholic Jews there was no significant difference in hepatitis B seropositivity among alcoholic that were native Israeli, Eastern Europe and former USSR, and Western Europe and American immigrants comparing to the control group. In contrast, anti-HCV recombinant immunoblot assay seropositivity in alcoholic Jews from all subgroups was significantly greater than in non alcoholic blood donors (p < 0.001). Odds analysis of all ethnic groups revealed that alcoholism requiring detoxification have a significant risk factor for hepatitis C more than hepatitis B (p < 0.001). The increased seroprevalence of hepatitis C among Israeli alcoholic patients, regardless their country of birth and origin, suggest that alcoholism is likely to have a predisposing factor for HCV infection.

PMID:
9690749
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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