A comprehensive hepatitis C virus risk factors meta-analysis (1989–2013); Do they differ in Egypt?
Background & Aims
The prevention and control of HCV infection is complex and challenging in terms of describing risk factors and modes of transmission. This meta-analysis was conducted to summarize the best available data on HCV risk factors worldwide and in Egypt.
Through exhaustive literature searches (1989–2013) of HCV risk factors, 357 original eligible articles were included in this study.
The highest detected risk was intravenous drug users (IDUs) (OR = 9.6) followed by HIV infection (OR = 4.9), having an IDU partner (OR = 4.1), HBV infection (OR = 3.5), Caesarean section (CS) (OR = 3.35), blood transfusion (OR = 3.2) and having an HCV+ partner (OR = 3). Organ transplantation, hospital admission, haemodialysis and having a sexually transmitted infection carry 2.96, 2.4, 2.18 and 2 risks of having HCV respectively. Other significant risk factors included poor education, older age, sharing sharp or blunt objects, MSM, tattooing, hijama, body piercing, minor operations and medical procedures. Some risks showed a decrease over the previous decade, including blood transfusion, organ transplantation, IDUs, IDU partner and CS. Others showed rising risks, including having an HCV+ partner, MSM and suffering from STI. In Egypt, male gender, rural residence, acupuncture and receiving parenteral antischistosomal treatment were significant risks, while neither HIV nor HBV were found to carry a risk of HCV infection.
Blood transfusion, organ transplantation, CS, IDUs, haemodialysis, minor operations and medical procedures are established risk factors. Attention and urgent intervention should be given to the sexual route of transmission, as well as that through minor operations and medical procedures.