Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 1997  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-77

Schistosomiasis as a possible risk factor for acquiring hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among Saudis

1 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed A Arif
Department of Pathology (32), College of Medicine, P.O. Box 2925, Riyadh 11461
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19864797

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Background -Risk factors for acquiring hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have been elucidated in many developed countries but the picture is still not clear in many Middle Eastern Countries including Saudi Arabia. Aim -To investigate possible risk factors for acquiring HCV among Saudis. Methods -Various demographic and medical risk factors that might be associated with the spread of HCV among Saudis were investigated. The population studied included 20 anti-HCV-positive with chronic liver disease (CLD), 30 anti-HCV-positive patients without CLD and 272 anti-HCV-negative Saudi blood donors. All people investigated were of the same age group (>40 years of age). Results -None of the demographic parameters studied (type of job, type of housing, education) was found to be significantly associated with acquiring HCV infection among our Saudi patients. On the other hand up to 40% of the anti-HCV­positive patients and irrespective of the condition of liver disease had a history of surgery, and 25% of them had a history of multiple injections. Furthermore, at least 20% of our anti-HCV-positive patients had a history of schistosomiasis which is significantly higher than schistosomiasis among the blood donors (P<0.005). Conclusion -In addition to blood and blood products, schistosomiasis seems to be a possible risk factor for acquiring HCV among the Saudi population. The association between schistosomiasis and enhancement of HCV infection need to be further elucidated.

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