Background and Aims: Superinfection with HEV in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) can cause severe hepatic decompensation leading to increased morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to determine seroprevalence of HEV infection among CLD patients compared to blood donors from Azerbaijan, north-west of Iran.
Methods: CLD patients and a group of age matched blood donors with normal liver function tests were evaluated for the presence of anti-HEV IgG antibody in their sera for evidence of hepatitis E. The risk factors were estimated.
Results: The mean age of CLD patients was 48 years (range: 10-87). 27.5% of patients were HEV IgG-positive. Among the controls 19.7% were positive for anti-HEV IgG. By multivariate analysis, there was no association between positive anti-HEV IgG and etiology of chronic liver disease, gender, literacy, accommodation, and number of family members in patients or controls. Mean age of patients infected with HEV in both groups was significantly more than the seronegative ones.
Conclusions: We found high seroprevalence of HEV-antibody among blood donors and CLD patients in our study, so we recommend more attention to hygiene of food and water. In addition, such patients should be informed about the potential risks and simple ways to prevent the disease in their regular life and travels. This issue must be concerned in cases of "acute on chronic" hepatitis in CLD patients.
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