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Hepat Mon. 2016 Aug 14;16(9):e36452. eCollection 2016 Sep.

Seroprevalence and Risk Factors for Hepatitis B in an Adult Population: The First Report from Birjand, South Khorasan, Iran.

Author information

1
Hepatitis Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, IR Iran.
2
Birjand Atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, IR Iran; Chemical Injuries Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
3
Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, IR Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an important global health problem. Knowledge of the geographic distribution pattern of HBV infection can help to control the spread of the disease.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the prevalence of HBV infections and risk factors for the disease for the first time in Birjand, Southeastern Iran.

METHODS:

This was an analytical cross-sectional study conducted in 2013 - 2014 of 5235 HBV cases in Birjand, South Khorasan Iran. Subjects aged 15 - 70 y were selected using the cluster sampling method. Blood samples were taken and tested at a reference laboratory for the hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc). Seropositive specimens were tested for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg).

RESULTS:

The mean age (± SD) was 39.07 (± 14.04) y, and 786 (15%) subjects were anti-HBc positive. The prevalence of HBsAg was 1.6% (n = 85). The prevalence of anti-HBc seropositivity was significantly higher in subjects with a lower level of education (P = 0.09), older subjects (P = 0.001), intravenous (IV) drug users (P<0.05), subjects with piercings (P < 0.001), and subjects with a positive history of familial HBV or HCV infection (P < 0.05). It was also significantly higher in those who drank alcohol (P = 0.09) or had a history of blood transfusions (P = 0.001), cupping (P = 0.004), hospital admission (P = 0.03), or endoscopy (P = 0.002). The rate of HBsAg positivity was significantly higher in subjects with a history of cupping (P=0.03), a positive history of familial HBV or HCV infection (P < 0.05), and older subjects (P = 0.015).

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the frequency of HBsAg seropositivity in the present study was close to that observed in the overall Iranian population, the seroprevalence of anti-HBc was higher, possibly due to the exposure of the elderly to more risk factors. The risk factors were similar. These included a history of blood transfusions, cupping, hospital admission, endoscopy, or familial HBV/HCV infection, in addition to piercings and drug abuse.

KEYWORDS:

Epidemiology; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis B Surface Antigen; Risk Factor, Iran

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