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Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection in male adults in Rawalpindi–Islamabad, Pakistan

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OBJECTIVETo identify risk factors associated with HCV infection in Islamabad–Rawalpindi.

METHODSFifty-seven cases and 180 controls were enrolled from various departments of the nine major hospitals of the Rawalpindi–Islamabad during July–September 1998. Cases were enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) positive for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV), aged 20–70 years, and residents of Islamabad or Rawalpindi division. Controls were anti-HCV ELISA negatives of the same age range and from the same area. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on demographic variables and potential risk factors, which was analysed by logistic regression to calculate crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) for risk factors.

RESULTSThe final multivariate logistic regression model revealed that after adjusting for age, cases were more likely to have received therapeutic injections in the past 10 years (1–10 vs. 0 therapeutic injections; adjusted OR=2.8, 95% CI: 1.1–7.1; > 10 vs. 0 therapeutic injections; adjusted OR=3.1, 95% CI: 1.2–7.9) and were significantly more likely to have daily face (adjusted OR=5.1, 95% CI: 1.5–17.0) and armpit shaves (adjusted OR=2.9, 95% CI: 1.3–6.5) by a barber.

CONCLUSIONHCV control and prevention programs in this region should include safe injection practices and educate men about the risk of HCV infection from contaminated instruments used by barbers.
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Keywords: Pakistan; case–control study; hepatitis C; hepatitis C virus; risk factors; viral hepatitis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Community Health Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan 2: Diarrhoeal Disease Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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