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Hepatitis C virus infection among teenagers in an endemic township in Taiwan: epidemiological and clinical follow-up studies

  • J. F. HUANG (a1), S. N. LU (a2), P. Y. CHUE (a3), C. M. LEE (a2), M. L. YU (a4), W. L. CHUANG (a4), J. H. WANG (a2), C. Y. DAI (a4), I. L. CHEN (a5), C. H. SHIH (a6) and W. Y. CHANG (a4)...

Abstract

The aim of the study was to elucidate the epidemiological features of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among teenagers in an endemic area by conducting a mass screening study. We also investigated the clinical outcome of the anti-HCV-positive subjects by conducting subsequent short-term and long-term follow-up studies. All 2837 students of two junior middle schools in Tzukuan, aged 13–16 years, were invited to be screened for anti-HCV, HBsAg, AST and ALT in October 1995. A total of 2726 (96%) students responded. Anti-HCV, HCV RNA and aminotransferase levels were evaluated among anti-HCV-positive students 1 month and 30 months later, respectively. A total of 38 (1·4%; M/F = 22/16) participants were anti-HCV-positive. The anti-HCV-positive students had higher rates of exposures to transfusion, anti-HCV-positive families and surgery. The prevalence (2·8%) of the 7 maritime villages was markedly higher than that (0·7%) of the other 8 villages (P < 0·001). Subsequent follow-up studies demonstrated that there might be 5 cases of acute or recent HCV infection, and 6 cases who had recovered from chronic HCV infection.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. 123 Tapei Road, Niaosung 833, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

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