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LEADING ARTICLE
Year : 1997  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-29

Seroepidemiology of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and relationship to alanine transferase (ALT) in Saudi workers at Yanbu industrial city


1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Immunology, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Rashad H Kashgari
P.O. Box 40997, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 23008562

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Objectives : To study the epidemiology of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCP) in a relatively new industrial community in Yanbu, and to find out whether any relationship exists between increased serum Alanine Transferase (ALT) and HBV infection. Method : .4 group of Saudi male workers (n=332) (mean age = 32 years) were screened for Hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), Hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV), and Alanine Transferase (ALT) level and the results were correlated with age and marital status. Results: Overall, the prevalence of anti-HBc, HBsAg, and anti-HCV were 23.2%, 7.7% and 0.6% respectively. Age-related HBsAg carrier rates were 7.8%, 6.4% and 9.4% for age groups 18-20, 21-30 and over 30 years respec­tively. Anti-HBc positivity rates lucre 7.8%, 24.3% and 23.1 M for the same age groups. Anti-HCV was positive in only two cases (0.6%) of all subjects. Con­sidering marital status, HBsAg and anti-HBc positivity rates were 7.8% and 20.5% for single subjects compared wi t h 7.4% and 24.5% for married subjects (P=> 0.5 and > 0.5). Twenty-two percent of all subjects had ALT levels above 35 U/L with no correlation between the increase of ALT and anti-HBc or HBsAg positivity. Conclusions : The findings of this work: (1) Support the notion of relatively low prevalence of HCV in the Saudi Population as compared to HBV. (2) Provide clues regarding possible routes of transmission of HBV in Saudis that may help in vaccination policies for control of HBV infection. (3) Emphasize the fact that ALT level is an independent factor of HBV infection, and (4) Signify the need to screen industrial workers fir non-viral causes of liver disease.


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