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Prevalence and risk factors for HEV infection in pregnant women.

Serkan Oncu, Selcen Oncu, Pinar Okyay, Sema Ertug, Serhan Sakarya

Med Sci Monit 2006; 12(1): CR36-39

ID: 443191

Background: Hepatitis E is an infectious viral disease with clinical andmorphological features of acute hepatitis, clinically similar to other forms of acute viral hepatitisexcept in pregnant women, in whom the illness is particularly severe and has a high mortality rate. Thepresent study was conducted in western Turkey to investigate the prevalence and risk factors for HEVinfection in pregnant women. Material/Methods: The data for the study were acquired from health centersin urban and rural areas of Aydin province, Turkey. The study design was cross-sectional. Multistagesampling was used to select the study group. Samples were tested for anti-HEV IgG by commercial ELISAtest. Results: A total of 386 pregnant women were included in the study. Antibodies against HEV weredetected in 27 of the 386 pregnant women (7.0%). The prevalence of HEV seropositivity was significantlylower (2.5%) in women with a higher education level when compared to women with a lower education level(9.7%) (p=0.023). No significant differences were identified between seropositive and seronegative womenin terms of age, source of water supply and place of residence. Conclusions: According to our results,education seems to be the only factor affecting the prevalence of HEV infection in pregnant women. Theprevalence rate we found was similar to the results obtained in previous community-based studies conductedin western Turkey.

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