SEROPREVALENCE OF HEPATITIS B AND HEPATITIS C AMONG THALASSEMIA PATIENTS AT A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL IN NORTH INDIA
Shivani Satia*, Manoj Jais and Madhumita Debbarma
Background: Thalassemia is an autosomal recessive disease causing haemolytic anaemia. Repeated blood transfusion in thalassemia patients is necessary for their survival; however, such transfusions increase their exposure not only to HCV but also to other blood-borne viruses like hepatitis B, hepatitis G and human immunodeficiency virus. The aim of the present study was to evaluate seroprevalence of viral hepatitis B and C in Thalassemia patients. Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study from January 2013 to August 2015 conducted at Lady Hardinge Medical college and Associated Hospitals. Patients with thalassaemia having regular blood transfusions at this hospital were enrolled. Complete history and physical examination was carried out in all the patients and blood samples collected The serum samples were tested by using ELISA Kits for HBs antigen and Anti HCV. Results: During the study period 418 thalassemia patients were enrolled .Out of 418 patients 230 were male and 188 were females respectively. Seroprevalence of HCV among thalassemia patients was 18.6%. Seroprevalence of HBV was 1.4%. Higher seroprevalence of HCV was associated with, more number of transfusions and older age. Co-infection of HBV and HCV was seen in 0.96% of the thalassemic patients. Unavailability of vaccine, repeated blood transfusions and screening of blood donors without nucleic acid amplification techniques are the major factors for high prevalence of HCV. Conclusion: HCV infection is an important cause of viral infection among thalassemia patients with a prevalence of 18.6% in our study population, hence screening of blood by nucleic acid amplification techniques is essential to reduce the rate of transmission of HCV in thalassaemia patients.
Keywords: Thalassaemia, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C.
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