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.
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.