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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1715-1721
National Epidemiological Study about Hepatitis C Virus Infection among Dialysis Patients

1 Department of Medicine A; Laboratory of Renal Pathology LR00SP01, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia
2 Department of Medicine A, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia
3 Laboratory of Renal Pathology LR00SP01, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia

Correspondence Address:
Meriam Hajji
Department of Medicine A, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-2442.352433

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The World Health Organization estimates that 3% of the general population is infected with this virus. Hepatitis C remains the main viral infection in dialysis patients, and the severity of this infection is the risk of developing cirrhosis or hepatocarcinoma. We aim to determine the prevalence of hepatitis C in dialysis patients, to calculate the rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV) seroconversion, and to identify the risk factors for seroconversion. This is a nationwide multicenter observational study including all dialysis patients regardless of age and gender. Those with acute renal failure and vacationers were excluded from the study. We included 185 centers including 176 hemodialysis (HD) centers and nine peritoneal dialysis (PD) centers with a total number of patients at 11,238, a number of HCV-positive patients at 402, and a number of functional machines at 3139. The mean age of a patient was 55.6 years (range: 18-65), and sex ratio was 0.9. The prevalence of HCV-positive patients is 3.6%; it is higher in private centers with an average of 2.7 compared to 1.18 in public centers with a significant difference (P = 0.009). The prevalence of HCV-positive patients was significantly higher in HD centers compared to PD centers, in centers where the number of generators was >15 and when the number of patients per center is >70. One hundred and fifty-six patients seroconverted after dialysis, i.e., a prevalence of seroconversion at 1.3% with a mean delay of 6.052 ± 5.3 years. Our study shows a lower prevalence of HCV seroconversion than that reported in the literature; this requires a national survey to be carried out by homogenizing virological diagnostic kits and treating infected patients to eradicate this infection in dialysis patients.

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