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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MEDEIROS, Maria Teresa Gonçalves de et al. Prevalence and associated factors to hepatitis C in hemodialysis patients in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.2, pp.187-193. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is higher in patients on hemodialysis than in the general population, probably due to greater exposure to risk situations. The purposes of the study were to determine anti-HCV antibodies prevalence among hemodialysis patients and dialysis clinics and patients factors associated with HCV transmission. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 752 hemodialysis patients in all 12 dialysis clinics of Fortaleza, Brazil, and were screened using third generation ELISA. Sociodemographic, clinical, and epidemiological data of 663 patients were collected through interviews. Nosocomial factors were assessed using a specific questionnaire tool. Statistical analysis was conducted using Student's t test, odds ratio and multivariate analysis. RESULTS: The prevalence of anti-HCV was 52% (390/746; ranged from 6% to 72%). The anti-HCV positivity was higher in patients who had previous peritoneal dialysis (OR=1.76; 95% CI 1.12-2.76) and blood transfusion (OR=2.75; 95% CI 1.25-6.03). Dialysis age has been associated with anti-HCV positivity (OR=1.47; 95% CI 1.35-1.61). Clinics practices associated with anti-HCV positivity were: previous preparing of heparin (OR=2.92; 95% CI 1.23-6.92), failure in gloves use or change (OR=5.73; 95% CI 1.75-18.72), unsatisfactory dialysis machine disinfection (OR=2.79; 95% CI 1.57-4.96), and patient isolation in dialysis room (OR=0.18; 95% CI 0.05-0.61). CONCLUSIONS: The results show high anti-HCV prevalence among hemodialysis patients and the association of nosocomial factors with new HCV infection cases.

Keywords : Hepatitis C [epidemiology]; Hepatitis C antibodies; Renal dialysis; Prevalence; Cross-sectional studies; Risk factors; Socioeconomic factors; Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; Seroconversion.

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