Prevalence of HCV in β-thalassemia major patients visiting tertiary care hospitals in Lahore – Pakistan

Shahid Nazir, Ahmad Faraz, Naeem Shahzad, Nasir Ali, Muhammd Arman Khan, Mazhar Iqbal, Muhammad Farhan Khan, Toraiz Ahmed, Allah Rakha, Javed Sabzwari


Post-transfusion hepatitis (PTH) is majorly caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). So, recipients of blood/blood products, post-transfusion hepatitis (PTH), renal dialysis patients and intravenous drug users all represent high-risk groups for infection. The aim of the present research was to determine the prevalence of HCV antibody in β-thalassemia major patients visiting different tertiary care hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. HCV seroprevalence and risk factors were studied in 200 β-thalassemia major patients (24 females, 176 males) with different age groups by second generation ELISA during January 2013 to May 2013. Confirmed β-thalassemia major patients from three different tertiary care hospitals were selected with special reference to age, age at the time of diagnosis, frequency of transfusion and present clinical status. Among 200 patients, 82 (41%) were found reactive for HCV antibody with age range of 2 to 18 years with mean age of 8.5 years. This study showed that hemodialysis patients and β-thalassemia sufferers were at higher risk of having HCV infection; the prevalence being 41%.

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