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Determinants of HTLV-1 seroprevalence in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan: a cross-sectional study.

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Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


To evaluate determinants of the prevalence of human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) antibody positivity in an endemic region, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, demographic and serologic data were collected on 7,055 individuals consecutively seen at Miyazaki City Health Promotion Center between September 1983 and December 1984. The overall HTLV-I seroprevalence was 8.5%; age and gender distributions of HTLV-1 antibody positivity were consistent with previous findings for endemic populations. The prefecture could be divided into two geographic areas based on seroprevalence: high prevalence (12.1%) in the southwest and medium prevalence (6.6%) for the rest of the prefecture. Current occupation in fishing, forestry, or livestock raising significantly correlated with HTLV-1 seropositivity [relative risk (RR) = 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, respectively]; farming also was associated but only in the medium prevalence region (RR = 1.3; p = 0.06). For a subset of 157 HTLV-I-positives and 175 negative controls screened for antibodies to the toxoplasmosis organisms, toxoplasma exposure was not significantly associated with HTLV-I infection. In this endemic Japanese population, both geographic and sociologic factors characterized the distribution of HTLV-I seroprevalence, reflecting transmission patterns and historical duration of the infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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