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Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.
Open AccessArticle

The Prevalence of Viral Hepatitis C in Latvia: A Population-Based Study

1
Hepatology Department, State Agency “Infectology Center of Latvia,” Riga, Latvia
2
Riga Stradins University, Latvia 3 State Agency “Infectology Center of Latvia,” Riga, Latvia
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Infectology and Dermatology Department, Riga Stradins University, Latvia
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Laboratory, State Agency “Infectology Center of Latvia,” Riga, Latvia
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Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Riga Stradins University, Latvia
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University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2011, 47(10), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina47100076
Received: 17 September 2010 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 5 November 2011
Background and Objective. Chronic viral hepatitis C (VHC) is one of the most discussed infectious diseases worldwide. The number of infected persons worldwide is approximately 170 million, and in Europe, it exceeds 9 million. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti- HCV prevalence) and prevalence of HCV viremia (HCV-RNA prevalence) in Latvia.
Material and Methods
. A multistage randomized selection was used. A total of 42 primary care physicians (PCPs) were randomly selected from the register of PCPs from different regions of Latvia. From each PCP register, 60 subjects were selected (1651 individuals in total) and invited for the anti-HCV test with a screening method (ELISA). In case of positive results, antibodies were confirmed by the Western blot test, and all these subjects were tested for HCV-RNA by polymerase chain reaction.
Results
. Of the 1459 subjects tested, 57 were positive for anti-HCV (3.9%; 95% CI 3% to 5%); 35 of them were positive for anti-HCV with a confirmatory test (2.4%; 95% CI, 1.7% to 3.3%): 19 men and 16 women (3.8% and 1.7%, respectively; P=0.011). The results of HCV RNA test were positive in 25 subjects (1.7%; 95% CI, 1.2% to 2.5%): 15 men and 10 women (3% and 1% respectively, P=0.019).
Conclusions
. The prevalence of anti-HCV and HCV-RNA in Latvia was found to be 2.4% and 1.7%, respectively. The prevalence of anti-HCV and HCV-RNA was higher in men than women.
Keywords: hepatitis C; prevalence; population hepatitis C; prevalence; population
MDPI and ACS Style

Tolmane, I.; Rozentale, B.; Keiss, J.; Arsa, F.; Brigis, G.; Zvaigzne, A. The Prevalence of Viral Hepatitis C in Latvia: A Population-Based Study. Medicina 2011, 47, 76.

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