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Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Hepatitis B and C in Nawabshah, Sindh, Pakistan

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  • 1 Department of Physiology, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan
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ABSTRACT

In Pakistan, viral hepatitis is a serious public health problem affecting millions of people. Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections are spreading rapidly in all provinces of Pakistan, including Sindh, because of lack of knowledge about routes of transmission, low literacy rate, reuse of syringes, piercing, and other factors. However, information about the prevalence and risk factors is inadequate. So, a general population-based study was conducted to determine the prevalence rate and risk factors of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in Nawabshah. Healthy individuals were screened for hepatitis B and hepatitis C using an immunochromatographic rapid test followed by confirmation through ELISA and PCR. Information about sociodemographic and risk factors was obtained through a pretested questionnaire. Descriptive frequencies, odds ratio, and CI were calculated using SPSS software version 23 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY). In total, 523 participants were screened for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, among whom 232 were females and 291 were males. The overall prevalence of hepatitis C and hepatitis B was 14.3% and 6.7%, respectively. In a bivariate analysis, hepatitis B infection was significantly associated with risk factors such as hospitalization, blood transfusion, needle injury, multiple sex partners, reused syringe, dental extraction, surgery, injectable drug abuse, and shaving at barbershops. Hepatitis C infection was associated with factors including surgery, needle injury, blood transfusion, reused syringes, dental extraction, and shaving at barbershops. The increasing prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis C virus in Nawabshah is a public health concern. There is dire need to implement preventive measures.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Ayaz Ali Samo, Department of Physiology, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, 76090 Sindh, Pakistan. E-mail: ayazsamo@usindh.edu.pk

Authors’ addresses: Ayaz Ali Samo, Zulfiqar Ali Laghari, Nimra Masood Baig, and Ghulam Murtaza Khoso, Department of Physiology, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan, E-mails: ayazsamo@usindh.edu.pk, zulfiqar.laghari@usindh.edu.pk, nimrabaig32@gmail.com, and gm.khoso@usindh.edu.pk.

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