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15 February 2018 : Clinical Research  

Seropositivity of Hepatitis A in Children Aged 7–14 Years in Diyarbakir Province Center

Ayfer Gözü Pirinççioğlu1ACDE*, Salih Adıgüzel1B, Tuncer Özekinci2C

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.906861

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR936-943

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a common morbidity in society, and mortality is more common in older ages. It is important to identify the prevalence in the population, the development of primary protection methods, and vaccination policies. This study aimed to identify anti-HAV seropositivity in children in 3 different schools in Diyarbakır, Turkey, to evaluate the risk factors influencing prevalence, and thus to develop strategies to prevent infection.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was a prospective investigation of 600 children with a mean age of 10.5 years (range, 7–14), including 291 males and 309 females.

RESULTS: The seropositivity was 45.7% (41.2% in males and 49.8% females) with a statistically significant difference by sex (p=0.042). It was also significantly correlated with age. Factors significantly associated with seropositivity were educational level and income of parents, number of rooms in the house, type of toilet, number of siblings, and source of drinking water. Hence, older age, more siblings, crowded household, and low socioeconomic level are risk factors for seropositivity.

CONCLUSIONS: Protection strategies for the disease include improving socioeconomic level, increasing the level of education, disseminating appropriate drinking water, improving infrastructure and sewage disposal, and public health education on hygiene and the importance of vaccination. We also believe that active immunization against HAV in Turkey in general and in our province in particular can prevent infection in children and related complications in older people.

Keywords: Child, Hepatitis A virus, Prevalence, Vaccination

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750