2. Head of Viral Hepatitis Section, Communicable Disease Control Center, Public Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Baghdad, Iraq.
3. Baghdad Medical college, Baghdad University, Baghdad, Iraq.
4. Central Public Health Laboratories, Public Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Baghdad, Iraq.
Background: Viral hepatitis is a preventable infectious disease with increasing importance all over the world. The aim of the current study is to assess the prevalence rate of acute viral hepatitis and positive viral hepatitis marker among clients of primary health care centers in Baghdad in 2010. In addition, to assess the proportion of positive hepatitis B and C viral marker from the total suspected acute viral hepatitis cases. Moreover, to determine the contribution of selected explanatory variables to the risk of testing positive for HBV and HCV serum markers.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study were carried out at the primary health care centers in Baghdad over 1 year. A questionnaire form was used to collect data about demographic factors and the results of the investigations. Total serum bilirubin and bilirubin in urine were done at the primary health care center laboratory. The rest of the sera samples were sent to Hepatitis referral Lab at Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) to be tested for HBs Ag and anti HCV using ELISA technique.
Results: A total of 7,576,372 consultations to primary health care centers were recorded in Baghdad during 1 year in 2010. Among those a total of 2,692 cases (35.5 per 100,000 consultations) were labeled as acute viral hepatitis cases. Only (3.3%) of cases were positive for HBs Ag and another 0.7% had positive anti-HCV antibodies.
Conclusion: Proportion of HBs Ag positive tests among suspected acute cases was intermediate. The only predictor for positive HBs Ag was age while controlling for other risk factors. Proportion of Anti HCV positive tests among suspected cases was low. History of blood transfusion and previous tattooing or cupping were the most powerful predictors of Anti HCV positivity while controlling for all other risk factors.
Keywords: Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, prevalence, acute jaundice