Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection among blood donors in southern Brazil: a case-control study.


BACKGROUND:In Brazil, it is estimated that between 2.5 and 4.9% of the general population present anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, which corresponds to as many as 3.9 to 7.6 million chronic carriers. Chronic liver disease is associated with HCV infection in 20% to 58% of the Brazilian patients. The objective of this case-control study was to investigate the risk factors for presence of anti-HCV antibody in blood donors in southern Brazil. METHODS:One hundred and seventy eight blood donors with two positive ELISA results for anti-HCV were cases, and 356 controls tested negative. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect data concerning demographic and socioeconomic aspects, history of previous hepatitis infection, social and sexual behaviors, and number of donations. Variables were grouped into sets of hierarchical categories. Cases and controls were compared using logistic regression, odds ratios, and 95% confidence intervals. The statistical significance of the associations was assessed through likelihood ratio tests based on a P value < 0.05. RESULTS:The prevalence of anti-HCV among blood donors was 1.1%. Most of the donors were white and males. In the multivariate analysis, independent predictors of anti-HCV positivity were: intravenous drug use, blood transfusion >10 years earlier, having had two to four sexually transmitted diseases, incarceration, tattooing, sex with a hepatitis B or C virus carrier or with intravenous drug users. CONCLUSION:Intravenous drug use, blood transfusion, and tattooing were the main risk factors for anti-HCV positivity among blood donors from southern Brazil, but sexual HCV transmission should also be considered.


BMC Gastroenterol


BMC gastroenterology


Brandão AB,Fuchs SC





Has Abstract


2002-08-08 00:00:00








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