Background and Aims: Viral hepatitis represents one of the most significant public health challenges. The institutionalization itself is an important factor influencing the risk and frequency of exposure and further spread of HBV and HCV infections. This study was carried out to determine the frequency of HBV and HCV serological markers in residents of Guilan nursing home.
Methods: Demographic data and history of exposure to known risk factors were collected by interview and through medical records available at the nursing home; clinical information was obtained via examination. All residents were screened for markers of HBV and HCV. HBsAg or HCVAb positive cases were examined for HBeAg, HBcAb, and HCV-RNA, respectively; and complementary tests including AST, ALT, ALP, bilirubin, serum albumin, and prothrombin time (PT) were done.
Results: 383 residents of Guilan nursing home including 243 females (63.4%) with mean age of 58.4±21.9 years were investigated. The average duration of residency was 6.0±5.7 years. Nine cases (2.3%) including 6 males (4.2% of all males) were anti-HCVAb positive. Out of these 9 cases, 5 individuals were HCV-RNA positive. All of these 5 cases were male. The average duration of residency in HCV positive cases was 1.5±1.8 years in comparison with 6.1±5.8 years in negative cases. There was a significant reverse relationship between residency duration and HCV positivity in logistic regression.
Conclusions: Residency in nursing home is not an important risk factor for viral hepatitis transmissions. However; we recommend precise and complete viral hepatitis screening on admission to nursing home and HBV vaccination for HBV negative cases.
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