Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Patients on Long Term Hemodialysis

Abdul Karim Zarkoon, Khalid Shah, Habib ur Rehman, Aamir Daud, Jamil Ahmed


Background: Hepatitis C infection is frequently noticed in patients on hemodialysis. This study was conducted to estimate the frequency of hepatitis C virus infection in patients on long term hemodialysis and to determine its risk factors.
Material \& Methods: It was a cross-sectional analytical study conducted at Sandeman Provincial Hospital, Quetta from January 2006 to June 2007. Patients on long-term hemodialysis in Nephrology unit were studied. Their medical records were reviewed for the presence of anti-HCV antibodies and any risk factors.

Results: Ninety-seven patients on hemodialysis were included. Out of these, 23 (23.7%) were found to be anti-HCV positive. The mean age of these patients was 55.2±15.5 years while for anti-HCV negative patients 54.9±15.1. There were 18(78.3%) males in the HCV positive group while 46(62.2%) males in HCV negative group. The mean duration of dialysis among HCV positive patients was 2.9±2.7 years while 1.51±0.86 years for HCV negative ones. Anti-HCV positive group had significantly greater proportion of patients with dialysis for more than 2 years (43.5% vs 9.5%). No significant difference was found in other risk factors. When years of dialysis were treated as categorical variable, significant difference between anti-HCV positive and negative groups was found. The risk of getting HCV infection was significantly associated with increasing years of dialysis (p-value 0.002).

Conclusion: Patients on hemodialysis has 23.7% positivity for anti-HCV in our setup and history of dialysis for more than two years is a significant risk factor for it.

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