Prevalence of Hepatitis C virus antibodies among different populations of relative and attributable risk.

Original article


Daw MA, Elkaber MA, Drah AM, Werfalli MM, Mihat AA, Siala IM.

Department of Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, PO Box 82668, Tripoli, Libya. Tel./Fax. +218 (21) 3334474.

Saudi Med J. 2002 Nov;23(11):1356-60.


To determine the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies among 5 different population groups including; healthy individuals, blood donors, hospital health care workers, renal dialysis patients and multiple blood transfusion group. To compare the ratios, relative and attributable risk among these groups. To outline a specific policy to reduce the potential risk of HCV among the different groups studied. METHODS: A prospective study was carried out in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tripoli, Libya, over a 2 year period for 1999 to 2001, to determine the prevalence of HCV-antibodies in sera collected from 5 distinct groups using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. The groups included 800 healthy adults, 1200 individuals of blood donors, 459 hospital health care workers, 200 patients on renal dialysis and multiple blood transfusion group which included 250 patients. The prevalence of HCV was correlated with relative and attributable risk that contributed to the infectivity of HCV. RESULTS: A total of 2909 individuals participated in this study with 1.6:1 male to female ratio. The prevalence of HCV varied from one group to another. It was found to be 1.6% among the general population, 1.2% among blood donors, 2% among hospital health care workers, 20.5% among renal dialysis patients and 10.8% in the multiple blood transfusion group. The relative risk and attributable risk among these groups varies from 1.25 to 12.8 and from 0.4-18.9. CONCLUSION: This study underlines the prevalence of HCV among different groups. The prevalence varies from one group to another, being the lowest among the blood donors and general population and the highest among the higher risk group in particular the renal dialysis patients. Specific measures should be implemented to reduce such risks. These may include specific programs for medical education, a meticulous infection control system in the hospitals, a registry program and clinical follow-up for patients positive for HCV.

Keywords: Prevalence of Hepatitis C virus antibodies among different populations of relative and attributable risk.