Institutions at which the work was performed: Collection of the blood samples were done in the Regional Hospital of Peja-Pec, Kosovo. Laboratory tests were performed at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy. Elaboration of data were done in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Verona, Italy.
Prevalence and risk factors for viral hepatitis in the Kosovarian population: implications for health policy†
Article first published online: 21 MAR 2008
Copyright © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Medical Virology
Volume 80, Issue 5, pages 833–840, May 2008
How to Cite
Quaglio, G., Ramadani, N., Pattaro, C., Cami, A., Dentico, P., Volpe, A., Pellizzer, G., Berisha, A., Smacchia, C., Figliomeni, M., Schinaia, N., Rezza, G. and Putoto, G. (2008), Prevalence and risk factors for viral hepatitis in the Kosovarian population: implications for health policy. J. Med. Virol., 80: 833–840. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21141
- Issue published online: 21 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 21 MAR 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 JAN 2008
The prevalence of hepatitis infection among the Kosovarian population is largely unknown. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis A, B, C, and D (HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV) infection among the general population and in a group of health care workers in the Kosovo region. Overall, 1,287 participants were recruited, 460 males (36%) and 827 females (64%). Health care workers accounted for 253 individuals (20%), 301 were blood donor candidates (23%), 334 were pregnant women (26%), and 399 (31%) were subjects who had been examined in two clinics for routine laboratory testing. The prevalence of total anti-HAV was 88.6% (95% CI: 86.69–90.25). Prevalence of anti-HAV among children up to 10 years was 40.5% (95% CI: 29.6–53.15), reaching 70% (95% CI: 62.25–77.10) in the 11–20 age group. Age, living in rural areas and unemployment were factors associated with higher risk of HAV infection. HBsAg was detected in 2.4% (95% CI: 1.57–3.38%) of the study sample, with a significant age trend (P-value:0.0110). Positivity for total anti-HBc was detected in 18.4% (95% CI = 16.27–20.59) of the subjects. Ninety-three subjects (7.2%) were positive for anti-HBs alone. An association between age, HSV-2 positivity, working nurses and HBV infection has been observed. One patient was HDV positive. The prevalence for HCV was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.22–1.12%). HAV infection seems to be high-intermediate, while HBV shows an intermediate endemicity. It is necessary to highlight the importance of an immunization strategy against HAV and HBV in reducing the incidence of the infection. The prevalence for HCV was very low. J. Med. Virol. 80:833–840, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.