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October 2021

J Epidemiol. 1998 Oct; 8(4): 250-5.

Prevalence of anti-hepatitis C antibodies in a rural community without high mortality from liver disease in Niigata prefecture.

Kayaba K, Igarashi M, Okamoto H, Tsuda F.

Department of Community and Family Medicine, Jichi Medical School, Japan.

The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and factors relating to the HCV transmission were evaluated in a community without high mortality from chronic liver disease in Niigata prefecture. A total of 2,231 subjects were examined to detect anti-HCV core antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with synthetic peptides CP14 and CP9. The prevalence was 1.66% (95% CI; 1.17% to 2.29%) and tended to increase with age. The values were lower than those reported from districts with hepatic disease endemic. Histories of blood transfusion (relative risk (RR) 5.51; 95% CI 2.90 to 10.48) and surgery with hospital admission (RR 4.43; 95% CI 2.04 to 9.65) were significantly associated with the anti-HCV core antibodies positive. Multiple logistic analysis corroborated independency of these factors. Among 188 subjects who experienced surgery and/or blood transfusion after 1990, only one (0.5%) had HCV infection. By contrast, 8 (3.5%) were positive in subjects who experienced first acupuncture therapy after 1990. The acupuncture therapy in alternative medicine could be still related to the HCV transmission.

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