Investigation of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Rate of Patients in a General Hospital

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Objective To investigate the infection rate of hepatitis C virus among the ambulatory patients and in-patients of a tertiary teaching hospital, and study the demographic factors related to the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection.

Methods All patients tested for hepatitis C virus antibody from July 2008 to July 2009 in Peking Union Medical College Hospital were enrolled in this cross-sectional analysis. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection was compared according to age, gender, and departments, respectively. Among patients with positive serology hepatitis C virus marker, the positivity of hepatitis C virus RNA was analysed.

Results Among 29 896 subjects included, the hepatitis C virus antibody of 494 patients were positive (1.7%). When patients were divided into 9 age groups, the age specific prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibody were 0.2%, 1.7%, 1.2%, 1.1%, 1.5%, 1.9%,2.6%, 2.4% and 2%, respectively. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibody in non-surgical department and surgical department was 3% and 1%, respectively. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibody of males was higher than that of the females. Total of 194 patients with positive hepatitis C virus antibody were tested for hepatitis C virus RNA, the RNA level of 113 patients (58.2%) were higher than the low detection limit.

Conclusions The prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibody was relatively high among patients of general tertiary hospital. Age group of 60-69, males and patients in non-surgical departments were factors associated with high rate of hepatitis C virus infection.

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