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Type: Journal article
Title: Prevalence of hepatitis C infection in pregnant women in South Australia
Author: Gaughwin, M.
Dodding, J.
Willson, K.
Garner, J.
Citation: Medical Journal of Australia, 1997; 167(9):470-472
Publisher: Australasian Medical Pub. Co.
Issue Date: 1997
ISSN: 0025-729X
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) seropositivity and known risk factors for HCV infection in a group of pregnant women. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Lyell McEwin Health Service, Elizabeth, South Australia (a general public hospital with an annual average of about 2000 deliveries). SUBJECTS: 1537 consecutive women who delivered at the Lyell McEwin Health Service from February 1995 to December 1995. OUTCOME MEASURES: Presence of HCV antibodies; and associations between HCV-antibody status and known risk factors. RESULTS: 17 women (1.1%) were HCV-seropositive. Risk factors significantly more prevalent among HCV-seropositive patients were: a history of injecting drug use, a past or present sexual partner who had injected drugs, having a tattoo and having been incarcerated. The proportions who had received a blood transfusion, had acquired a sexually transmitted disease or were positive for hepatitis B virus surface antigen were not significantly different between seropositive and seronegative women. Multivariate analysis showed that only injecting drug use remained a strong independent predictor of HCV-seropositivity (odds ratio [OR], 50.1; P < 0.001), while having a tattoo approached significance (OR, 3.5; P = 0.07). CONCLUSION: As only 1.1% of this sample of women were HCV-seropositive, screening of all pregnant women does not seem warranted. Testing on the basis of a history of risk factors, such as injecting drug use and having a tattoo, would detect undiagnosed HCV infections more efficiently.
Keywords: Humans
Pregnancy Complications, Infectious
Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C Antibodies
Multivariate Analysis
Risk Factors
Cross-Sectional Studies
Seroepidemiologic Studies
Hospitals, General
Hospitals, Public
South Australia
Surveys and Questionnaires
DOI: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1997.tb126673.x
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