Prevalence of Hepatitis B and C Infections and Associated Risk Factors in Pars Cohort Study, Southern Iran

Sanam Hariri, Sabereh Davari, Zeinab Malekzadeh, Zahra Mohammadi, Sahar Masoudi, Abdullah Gandomkar, Sedigheh Amini Kafiabad, Mahtab Maghsoudloo, Shahin Merat, Hossein Poustchi, Fatemeh Malekzadeh



Hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV) infections rank among the most frequent infectious diseases with a rising worldwide burden. However, their epidemiology and risk factors are understudied in many regions, including Iran.


 This study was conducted as part of the Pars Cohort Study (PCS) in Valashahr district, Fars province (2012-2014). Participants received venipuncture for HBsAg and HCV antibody, followed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing. All infected people and their comparison groups completed a risk assessment questionnaire.


Overall, 9,269 people participated in the study; the majority were women and of Fars ethnicity. Prevalence of HBsAg and HCV antibody was 2.3% (n=215) and 0.3% (n=26), from whom 23% (n=47) and 13% (n=3) had indications for treatment, respectively. During follow-up, among HBsAg-positive individuals who were not on treatment, 62% tested negative for HBsAg, and in 2% HBV DNA had risen to treatment levels. Risk factors for HBV infection were illiteracy [OR=3.43, 95% CI=1.1, 10.3], and Turk ethnicity compared to Fars [OR=1.58, 95% CI=1.1, 2.3]. History of blood transfusion [OR=2.00, 95% CI=1.1, 3.5] and history of drug use [OR=2.85, 95% CI=1.1, 7.4] were associated with HCV infection, after adjustment.


Further epidemiological studies are needed to identify at-risk populations in different regions. Preventive interventions, including educational programs and transfusion safety strategies, are crucial for reducing the hepatitis burden.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Prevalence, Risk factors, Treatment, Iran

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