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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 14  |  Page No.: 1012 - 1018

Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Infection and Associated Risk Factors among Addicted Prisoners in Sari-Iran

M. Zakizad, F. Salmeh, T. Yaghoobi, M. Yaghoubian, M.B. Nesami, Z. Esmaeeli, N. Vaezzadeh, S. Shahmohammadi, S. Modanloo, A.A. Sadeghian, S.J. Abdolmanafi, R.A. Mohammadpour, H. Siamian and A. Khosravi


The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis C infection and associated risk factors among addicted prisoners in Sari-Iran. This is a simple random sampling cross sectional study that was performed on 312 addicted prisoner men at Khazarabad addicts' prison in Sari/Iran in September 2001. Their blood samples were examined through third generation enzyme immunoassay. Data were collected through questionnaires and interview. Associated risk factors were compared in 82 hepatitis C antibody positive addicts (the affected group) and 148 hepatitis C antibody negative addicts (the unaffected group). Out of 312 addicted prisoners, 96 were hepatitis C anti body positive. The seroprevalence of hepatitis C infection was found to be 30.8%. Major associated risk factors in the affected group were as follows: duration of addiction, duration of imprisonment (mean 48 months), route of drug administration, length of alcohol consumption, tattooing, shared usage of needles and razors, multiple sexual partners and type of drugs (p<0.05). On multivariate logistic regression analysis these factors were found to be significant independent risk factors for HCV infection: tattooing (OR 100, 95% CI), multiple sexual partners (OR 4.97, 95% CI) and history of surgery (OR 6.23, 95% CI). It is concluded that hepatitis C infection had a considerable prevalence in addicted prisoners. High risk and unsafe behaviors were found to be the main factors of contamination.

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