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Infection. 1994 Nov-Dec;22(6):411-4.

The epidemiology of hepatitis C in Turkey.

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Div. of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) are the principal causes of non-A, non-B hepatitis worldwide, and in Turkey one-third of the cases of acute hepatitis are non-A, non-B. To explore the epidemiology of HCV in Turkey (including the association of HCV with HEV), a seroprevalence study of HCV was conducted. Sera from residents from five distinct regions of the country were tested for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV) and HEV (anti-HEV). Anti-HCV was detected in 21 (1.5%) of 1,374 persons and was more common in residents over 54 years of age (p = 0.02), with less than primary education (p = 0.013), more than two children (p = 0.003), and who lived in the regions of Ayvalik (p = 0.046) or Trabzon (p = 0.038) compared to Istanbul. Anti-HCV was marginally associated with anti-HEV, which was found in 5.9% of residents. However, this association was lost after controlling for age and education (p = 0.225). HCV infection occurs in all regions of Turkey and is more common in persons who are older and of low socioeconomic status. As resources permit, efforts to reduce the transmission of HCV in Turkey (such as screening blood donations for anti-HCV) are indicated.

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