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15 February 2017, 11:19
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Study: Iran has lowest rates of HCV in Middle East

Study: Iran has lowest rates of HCV in Middle East - picture 1

A recent analysis of 12 population studies showed that the seroprevalence of the hepatitis C virus in Iran is lower than in other Middle Eastern countries. Among the general population, the rate was 0.6% (95% CI, 0.4-0.8), with an overall rate of true viremia of 0.4% (95% Cl, 0.1-0.6).

“These values indicate a spontaneous eradication rate of almost 35%, which is in agreement with other reports from Iran,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, Iran could be considered a country with low frequency of HCV infection among the general population.”

In comparison, HCV seroprevalence is 1% - 2.1% in Turkey, 2.2% in the Gaza strip, 1.7% in Yemen, and 1.5% in the United Arab Emirates.

However, rates of HCV seroprevalence varied a good deal across different provinces: from 0.08% in Mazandaran to 1.6% in Hormozgan. They also varied according to sex, with HCV seroprevalence ranging from 0.14% to 2.6% in men and from 0% to 1.29% in women. The overall rates were 0.8% (95% Cl, 0.4-1.2) in men and 0.5% (95% Cl, 0.2-0.8) in women. The overall true viremia rate was 0.5% in men and 0.1% in women.

The researchers identified a strict program of HCV screening prior to blood transfusions, which began in 1996, as the most important factor influencing the lower rate of hepatitis C infection in Iran.