Objective: To find out and compare the risk factors for hepatitis B and C infections in patients visiting a gastroenterology clinic. Design: A case-control study. Place and Duration of Study: The Liver Stomach Clinic, Karachi, from July 2004 to September 2004. Patients and Methods: Patients of hepatitis B and C visiting the clinic were interviewed and data were noted on a prescribed form. Patients with dyspeptic symptoms who were negative for both hepatitis B and C were taken as controls. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS package. Results: Total numbers of patients interviewed were 148; 63 with hepatitis C, 41 with hepatitis B and 44 in the control group. These patients hailed from various parts of Pakistan with diverse ethnicity. Comparing hepatitis C with the control group, important risk factors identified were lower level of education, the occupational exposure to the blood and syringes, history of blood transfusions, taking therapeutic injections and intravenous drips, and habit of getting shaved by barbers. Patients of hepatitis B were younger as compared to the control group. Their knowledge about spread of infection was poor. These patients had not received hepatitis B vaccine during childhood. Less number of risk factors could be identified in this group, Shaving from the barber's shop was also found to be a risk factor just like in hepatitis C. Conclusion: There is a need to educate general population about the possible risk factors associated with the spread of hepatitis C and B. Proper screening of blood products and universal precautions against the spread of infections are recommended. Treatment by 1/V drips and getting shaved by barbers should be discouraged. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2006|
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Risk factors