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Int J Prev Med. 2012 Nov;3(11):770-5.

Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B Virus Infection and Its Risk Factors in the West of Iran: A Population-based Study.

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Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Baqiyatallah Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Disease, Tehran, Iran.



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a serious global public health problem affecting billions of people globally. The lack of information of its seroprevalence among the general population is an obstacle for formulating effective policies to reduce the burden viral hepatitis. Therefore, this population based serological survey was conducted in Kurdistan province, where no epidemiological data was available to determine the prevalence and risk factors of HBV infection.


1613 healthy subjects were selected from all districts of Kurdistan province (in the western of Iran) using random cluster sampling. The subjects' age ranged from 6 to 65 years old. Serum samples were tested for HBcAb, HBsAg and anti-HDV antibody. Screening tests were carried out by the third generation of ELISA. Various risk factors were recorded and multivariate analysis was performed.


The prevalence of HBsAg and HBcAb in Kurdistan was before 0.80% (95% CI 0.44; 1.34) and 5.02% (95% CI 4.03; 6.17), respectively. None of HBsAg carriers had positive anti-HDV antibody. Predictors of HBsAg or HBcAb in multivariate analysis were: older age and marriage. We did not find any significant differences between males and females.


Our population based study suggests that intrafamilial HBV transmission plays a major role in HBV transmission in Kurdistan province. Furthermore, approximately 5% of general population in this province has prior exposure to HBV and less than 1% is HBsAg carriers. However, we could not find any case of HDV infection among them.


Hepatitis B virus; Iran; epidemiology; prevalence


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