Community-based seroepidemiological survey of HCV infection in Catalonia, Spain
Article first published online: 23 OCT 2001
Copyright © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Medical Virology
Volume 65, Issue 4, pages 688–693, December 2001
How to Cite
Domínguez, À., Bruguera, M., Vidal, J., Plans, P. and Salleras, L. (2001), Community-based seroepidemiological survey of HCV infection in Catalonia, Spain. J. Med. Virol., 65: 688–693. doi: 10.1002/jmv.2091
- Issue published online: 23 OCT 2001
- Article first published online: 23 OCT 2001
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 NOV 2000
- hepatitis C virus infection;
- seroepidemiology survey;
- risk factors
The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of antibodies against the hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) and the associated risk factors in a representative sample of the population of Catalonia, Spain. Serum samples from 2,142 subjects aged between 5 and 70 years, selected at random from urban and rural habitats, were studied. Multiple logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine variables associated independently with the presence of HCV antibodies. The age and gender standardized prevalence of anti-HCV was 2.5% (95% confidence interval, 1.8–3.2). Prevalence increased significantly with age (P < 0.001), but no other sociodemographic variables were associated with HCV infection. Tattoos (OR: 6.2), blood transfusions (OR: 5.0) intravenous drug use (OR: 4.9) and antecedents of hospitalization (OR: 2.3) were variables associated independently with infection. HCV infection affects mainly elderly people in Spain and spares children and adolescents. This suggests that major exposure to HCV may have occurred many years ago, when infection was more widespread than in recent years. J. Med. Virol. 65:688–693, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.