Hepatitis C virus antibodies among risk groups in Spain

Lancet. 1989 Aug 5;2(8658):294-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)90485-6.


The frequency of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Spain was assessed by means of a recombinant-based immunoassay for serum anti-HCV antibodies. 836 serum samples were tested from 676 patients selected according to their risk of blood-borne viral infections and presence of liver disease. Among patients at high risk of infection (with or without liver disease) anti-HCV antibodies were found in 85% of prospectively followed patients with post-transfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis, 62% of patients with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis and a history of blood transfusion, 70% of haemophiliacs receiving replacement therapy, 70% of intravenous drug abusers, and 20% of haemodialysis patients. Only 8% of homosexual men infected with human immunodeficiency virus and 6% of female contacts of drug abusers were positive. Among patients with liver disease and no history of parenteral exposure to blood, anti-HCV antibodies were detected in 38% with cryptogenic, alcoholic, or primary biliary cirrhosis and in 44% with chronic active hepatitis. Among healthy subjects without risk factors for hepatitis the overall prevalence of anti-HCV was 1.2%.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis*
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain
  • Substance-Related Disorders / immunology


  • Hepatitis Antibodies