Background: To investigate the epidemiology of hepatitis B and C infections and the benefits of programs aimed at hepatitis prevention and control in Northeastern China.
Methods: Individuals receiving health examinations were recruited to complete a questionnaire and undergo laboratory tests for hepatitis infection. Data on demographic characteristics, results of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) serological tests, for HBV and HCV infection were analyzed.
Results: Among 227 808 study participants, the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HCV-positive rates were 6.1% and 3.0%, respectively. Among HBsAg-positive participants, 63.8% tested positive for HBV DNA, 20.2% had an abnormal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, and 10.7% had cirrhosis. Among anti-HCV-positive participants, 57.2% tested positive for HCV RNA, 29.6% had an abnormal ALT level, and 8.4% had cirrhosis. Among HBsAg- or anti-HCV-positive participants, 47.1% and 32.0%, respectively, were aware of their infection. Among participants infected with HBV or HCV and suitable for antivirus treatment, 23.5% and 16.1%, respectively, had received antivirus treatment. The HBV plus HCV coinfection rate was 0.08%.
Conclusions: The HBsAg-positive rate decreased significantly after implementation of recently introduced HBV control programs in China. However, the anti-HCV-positive rate showed only a slight decrease, indicating that programs for the prevention and control of hepatitis viruses require continued strengthening.
Chinese clinical trials registration: ChiCTR-ECS-13004009.
Keywords: cross-sectional study; epidemiology; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis C virus.
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