Risk factors of hepatitis B transmission in northern Palestine: a case - control study.

BMC Res Notes 2014 Mar 28;7:190. Epub 2014 Mar 28.

Assistant Professor in Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Box 7,707, Nablus, Palestine.

Background: The Hepatitis B (HB) infection is a significant health problem in Palestine, which is categorized as an HB virus moderate endemic area, with the HB carrier rate ranging from 2-6%. The aim of this study is to determine the risk factors of Hepatitis transmission in the northern areas of Palestine in order to help prevent and control this prevalent health problem.

Methods: A case-control study was implemented to achieve the study objectives. One hundred HB virus seropositive cases and another 100 seronegative controls were included in the study. Univariate analysis and a logistic regression model were performed to examine probable risk factors of acquisition of HB infections.

Results: Univariate analysis showed that HB case-patients were more likely to report having a history of blood transfusion, dental visits, hospitalization, Hejamat, sharing shaving equipments, intravenous drug use, or living abroad than controls were. The logistic regression model revealed a history of dental visits to be the most significant risk factor, (P value <0.001, OR 5.6; 95% CI 2.8-11.1).

Conclusion: The presence of these risk factors emphasizes the need for both increasing the uptake of HB vaccine and implementing risk-targeted public health education. Development and enforcement of appropriate infection control guidelines for dental care services are important to prevent HB virus transmission as well.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-7-190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3986636PMC
March 2014
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