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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 1995  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 167-173
The Annual Incidence of Seroconversion of Antibodies to the Hepatitis C Virus in the Hemodialysis Population in Saudi Arabia

1 Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Muhammed Ziad Souqiyyeh
Consultant Nephrologist, Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, P.O. Box 27049, Riyadh 1141
Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 18583859

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A mail survey was conducted involving 102 hospital-based active hemodialysis (HD) centers in Saudi Arabia to assess the annual incidence of seroconversion of antibodies against the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Tests for anti-HCV, using second generation ELISA, were performed every three months on the study subjects for a period between January 1993 to December 1994. Response was received from 73 centers (72%) on 1,392 patients and from 61 centers (60%) on 694 staff members. Of the study patients, 733 (52.7%) were males, and 659 (47.3%), females; 1,093 (78.5%) were Saudis, while 299 (21.5%) were Non-Saudis. The mean age of the patients was 44.5 14.3 years (range 10-75 years). The mean duration on HD was 3.1 + 2.1 years (range 3 months - 10 years). Reuse of the dialyzers was not practiced on any of the study patients. During the study period, 28% of the patients did not receive any blood transfusions while the remaining 72% received varying number of transfusions. The average prevalence of anti-HCV among HD patients was 70%,and among the dialysis staff was 1%. and the annual rate of serconversion was 7% to 9%. The anti-HCV seroconversion rate was significantly lower in the dialysis centers with more than 20 patients compared with the smaller dialysis centers (P< 0.0001). Also, there was a significant correlation between increased rates of seroconversion and duration on HD as well as with history of blood transfusions (P< 0.001). There were no significant differences in the rates of anti-HCV seroconversion related to the sex, age or nationality of the patients. There was no correlation between the elevation of liver enzymes or presence of HBV infection and the annual rate of seroconversion. We conclude that the annual incidence of the seroconversion of anti-HCV in the HD population in Saudi Arabia is 7-9% and isolation of the anti-HCV positive patients may help in decreasing this incidence.

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