Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major cause of post-transfusion hepatitis infection (PTH). Patients with thalassemia major are at high risk of hepatitis C due to the blood transfusion from donors infected by HCV. The aim of this study was to detect the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies and risk factors in multitransfused thalassemic patients in Isfahan-Iran to establish more preventive strategies.
This study was conducted to assess the patients with beta-thalassemia in Isfahan hospitals during 1996-2011 for HCV infection. A structured interview questionnaire was developed by the trained researcher to collect the demographic and risk factors. Statistical analysis was done by Chi-square test, Mann-Withney and multiple logistic regressions using SPSS software, version 15.
466 patients with major thalassemia participated in this study. The mean age of patients was 17.46 ± 8.3. Two hundred and seventy (58.3%) and 193 (41.7%) of participants were male and female, respectively. The prevalence of HCV was estimated 8% among thalassemia patients. History of surgery, history of dental procedure, number of units transfused per month, number of transfusion per month and duration of transfusion had significant association with HCV seropositivity in univariate analysis. There were no statistical significant risk factors for HCV seropositivity in multiple logistic regression models.
Our findings revealed that blood transfusion was the main risk factors for HCV infection among beta-thalassemic patients. Therefore, more blood donor screening programs and effective screening techniques are needed to prevent transmission of HCV infection among beta-thalassemic patients.