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Int J Epidemiol. 1999 Aug;28(4):782-6.

Injections given in healthcare settings as a major source of acute hepatitis B in Moldova.

Author information

  • 1Hepatitis Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. yah5@cdc.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Reported rates of acute hepatitis B are high in many former Soviet Union republics and modes of transmission are not well defined.

METHODS:

Two case-control studies were undertaken in Moldova to identify risk factors for acute hepatitis B in people aged 2-15 years (children) and > or =15 years (adults). Serologically confirmed acute hepatitis B cases occurring between 1 January 1994 and 30 August 30 1995, were matched on age, sex, and district of residence to three potential controls who were tested for hepatitis B markers to exclude the immune. Stratified odds ratios (SOR) were calculated using bivariate and multivariate methods.

RESULTS:

In multivariate analysis, compared with the 175 controls, the 70 adult cases (mean age 25 years, 66% male) were more likely to report receiving injections in the 6 months before illness during a dental visit (SOR = 21; 95% CI: 3.7-120), a hospital visit (SOR = 35; 95% CI: 7.2-170), or a visit to the polyclinic (SOR = 13; 95% CI: 2.4-74). Among children, receiving injections during a hospital visit (SOR = 5.2; 95% CI: 1.2-23) was the only exposure reported significantly more often by the 19 cases (mean age 8 years, 68% male) compared with the 81 controls.

CONCLUSION:

These results, along with reported unsafe injection practices in Moldova, suggest that injections are a major source of hepatitis B virus transmission and highlight the importance of proper infection-control procedures in preventing transmission of blood-borne infections.

PIP:

Two case-control studies were conducted between January 1994 and August 1995 to determine the relative importance of injections and other exposures as a source of acute hepatitis B in Moldova among adults (aged 15 years) and children (aged 2-15 years). Results showed that injections in various health care settings were associated with acute hepatitis B and showed a higher proportion among adults compared with children. Contact with an HBsAg-positive person was also associated with illnesses; however, there was no statistically significant association between acute hepatitis B and other exposures. The risk of HBV transmission following percutaneous exposure is high (at least 30%). Calculation of the population attributable to risk suggests that injections associated with acute hepatitis B cases occurred in adults (52%) and children (21%). Adverse effects of injections may not be apparent in causing chronic infections. Transmission of blood-borne pathogens through unsafe injection practices is a problem increasingly identified worldwide.

PMID:
10480711
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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