Prevalence of hepatitis C virus in the Mexican population: a systematic review

J Infect. 2008 Apr;56(4):281-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Mar 17.


Background: Although hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is considered a relevant public health problem in Mexico, the prevalence is still under discussion. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review to explore the prevalence of HCV infection in the Mexican population.

Methods: A systematic review of studies reporting prevalence in Mexican population was performed using several free-access databases.

Results: Sixty-eight works fulfilled the search criteria. From these, 44 studies involved asymptomatic subjects and 28 involved patients or high-risk subjects. Prevalence of blood donors (6,955,558 persons) ranged from 0.0% to 2.05%, with 7/32 studies reporting values >1%, whereas prevalence of non-donor asymptomatic subjects (28,528 persons) from 0.0% to 2.7%, with 7/11 studies reporting values >1%, and medical personnel from 0.0% to 2.08% (1,227 persons), with 4/11 studies reporting values >1%. Prevalence of patients with chronic hepatic disease ranged from 6.7% to 77%. The most prevalent genotype was 1 (30.0-87.5%), of which subtype 1b is the most frequent (11.9-61.9%). The main risk factors were blood transfusion and unprotected sex or having multiple sex partners.

Conclusions: The prevalence in the Mexican population seems to be in accordance with that previously estimated by the World Health Organization (1-2.5%).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / blood
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Hepatitis C Antibodies