Objectives and Aim: We performed a study of hepatitis B virus (HBV) risk factors among blood donors in Bangalore, India.
Background: HBV infection is prevalent in India and poses a potential risk of transmission by blood transfusion, but studies of risk factors for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carriage among Indian blood donors are lacking.
Methods/Materials: Using a case-cohort design, we enrolled 71 cases with repeatedly reactive HBsAg results and a cohort of 212 contemporaneous blood donors with unknown HBsAg status. Questionnaire data were analysed using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: In our multivariate analysis controlling for age, HBsAg positivity was associated with repeat donor status (OR = 0·34, 95% CI 0·17–0·71 vs first-time donor status), residence outside Bangalore and Hosur (rural areas) (OR = 15·66, 95% CI 3·60–68·07vs Bangalore residence), having been a customer at a local barber shop (OR = 4·07, 95% CI 2·06–8·03), close contact with a person who had jaundice (OR = 13·64, 95% CI 3·71–50·24) and cigarette smoking (OR = 3·25, 95% CI 1·39–7·60).
Conclusion: In addition to recognised demographic risk factors, associations with patronage of local barbers and contact with jaundiced individuals suggest behavioural risk factors that could be adopted as exclusionary criteria for blood donation in India.