Incidence of non-A, non-B and HCV positive hepatitis in healthcare workers in Italy

J Hosp Infect. 1996 Jun;33(2):131-7. doi: 10.1016/s0195-6701(96)90097-3.


In Italy, using figures from a surveillance system for acute viral hepatitis, the incidence rate of acute non-A, non-B hepatitis (NANBH) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) hepatitis cases was evaluated in healthcare workers (HCWs) and the general population of the same age over the period 1988-1994. The NANBH incidence among the general population declined from 4.7/100,000 in 1988 to 2.1/100,000 in 1994; the corresponding figures among HCWs were 12.3/100,000 (RR 2.62; CI 95% = 1.66-4.15) in 1988 and 4.3/100,000 (RR 2.05; CI 95% = 1.13-3.77) in 1994. Since 1991, NANBH cases have been tested for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV). During the period 1991-1994 the proportion of NANBH cases tested for anti-HCV was 81% (38/47) in HCWs and 85% (1019/1193) in other NANBH cases. A similar proportion of NANBH cases in each group (74% and 70%) were shown to be due to HCV. The incidence rate of HCV positive cases among the general population was 1.3/100,000 in 1991 and 1.8/100,000 in 1994; the corresponding figures among HCWs were 3.7/100,000 (RR 2.85; CI 95% = 1.42-5.92) in 1991 and 3.1/100,000 (RR 1.72; CI 95% = 0.88-3.59) in 1994. The proportion of cases with jaundice was 56.2% in HCWs and 63.7% in the general population. Needlestick injury without major risk factors such as blood transfusion, intravenous drug use or surgical intervention was reported by 12.0% of HCWs and by 0.1% of the general population. Lack of any risk factor was reported by 40.2% of HCWs. These findings strongly suggest that in Italy healthcare workers are at greater risk than the general population of acquiring NANBH, as well as HCV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Health Personnel*
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis E / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies