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Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Oct;80(4):609-13.

Seroprevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C virus antibody in pregnant women.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.



To better understand hepatitis C viropathies and seroprevalence by performing an epidemiologic analysis of pregnant women seropositive for antibody against hepatitis C.


We studied 1013 consecutive obstetric patients at Parkland Memorial Hospital who gave informed consent for detailed interviews and serotesting. Sera were analyzed for antibody to the hepatitis C virus using both C100-3 and RIBA-4 assays. Neonatal assessment was carried out in the immediate postpartum period.


Hepatitis C antibody was detected in 2.28% (N = 23) of the 1005 women in whom analysis was completed. Factors associated with seropositivity included intravenous (IV) drug use, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis B infection, maternal age greater than 22.5 years, increased parity (eg, greater than 2.1), history of transfusion, and three or more different lifetime sexual partners or a sexual partner who used IV drugs. Maternal and neonatal outcome was not different between hepatitis C antibody-positive and -negative groups.


Epidemiologic data are consistent with sexual and parenteral modes of transmission. Women with hepatitis C antibody did not have excessive perinatal complications compared with antibody-negative women. A model protocol and cost analysis for screening pregnant women for hepatitis C infection are presented. However, routine screening for hepatitis C is not advocated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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