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J Hepatol. 2003 Dec;39(6):1036-41.

Epidemiological and clinical burden of chronic hepatitis B virus/hepatitis C virus infection. A multicenter Italian study.

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Department of Medicine and Public Health, Unit of Infectious Diseases, Second University of Naples, Via Cotugno, 1 C/O Osp. Gesù e Maria, 80135 Naples, Italy.



This study assess prevalence, risk factors, and clinical and virological features of dual hepatitis B virus (HBV)/hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.


We evaluated 837 hepatitis B surface antigen positive patients, prospectively enrolled in 14 Italian units.


Anti-HCV was present in 59 cases (7%); age specific prevalences were 4.5% (0-30 years), 4.4% (>30-50) and 14% (>50). Independent predictors of dual infection were age >42 years, history of I.V. drug use (IDU), blood transfusion and residence in the South of the country. The strength of the association with IDU was high, but this exposure accounted for five coinfection cases only. Cirrhosis was present in 107 of the 709 patients with HBV alone (15.1%), in 30 of 69 with hepatitis D virus coinfection (43%) and in 17 of 59 with HCV coinfection (28.8%); a light alcohol use was marginally associated with cirrhosis. Of 36 B/C coinfected patients, 16 (44.4%) had only HBV-DNA in serum, (median age=47.5 years) five (13.9%) had both HBV-DNA and HCV-RNA (age=53), nine (25%) had HCV-RNA alone (age=59) and six (16.7%) tested negative for both.


This study depicts the epidemiological and clinical burden of dual HBV/HCV infection in Italy.

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