Article: article from journal or magazin.
Decrease in the prevalence of hepatitis B and a low prevalence of hepatitis C virus infections in the general population of the Seychelles.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
A serological survey of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections was carried out on a random sex- and age-stratified sample of 1006 individuals aged 25-64 years in the Seychelles islands. Anti-HBc and anti-HCV antibodies were detected using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), followed by a Western blot assay in the case of a positive result for anti-HCV. The age-adjusted seroprevalence of anti-HBc antibodies was 8.0% (95% CI: 6.5-9.9%) and the percentage prevalence among males/females increased from 7.0/3.1 to 19.1/13.4 in the age groups 25-34 to 55-64 years, respectively. Two men and three women were positive for anti-HCV antibodies, with an age-adjusted seroprevalence of 0.34% (95% CI: 0.1-0.8%). Two out of these five subjects who were positive for anti-HCV also had anti-HBc antibodies. The seroprevalence of anti-HBc was significantly higher in unskilled workers, persons with low education, and heavy drinkers. The age-specific seroprevalence of anti-HBc in this population-based survey, which was conducted in 1994, was approximately three times lower than in a previous patient-based survey carried out in 1979. Although there are methodological differences between the two surveys, it is likely that the substantial decrease in anti-HBc prevalence during the last 15 years may be due to significant socioeconomic development and the systematic screening of blood donors since 1981. Because hepatitis C virus infections are serious and the cost of treatment is high, the fact that the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies is at present low should not be an argument for not screening blood donors for anti-HCV and eliminating those who are positive.
Adult, Age Distribution, Alcoholism/complications, Endemic Diseases/statistics & numerical data, Female, Hepatitis B/blood, Hepatitis B/epidemiology, Hepatitis B Antibodies/blood, Hepatitis C/blood, Hepatitis C/epidemiology, Hepatitis C Antibodies/blood, Humans, Male, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Population Surveillance, Risk Factors, Seroepidemiologic Studies, Sex Distribution, Seychelles/epidemiology, Socioeconomic Factors
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