ISSN 1308-8734 | E-ISSN 1308-8742
Original Article
Epidemiological Factors Affecting Hepatitis A Seroprevalence in Childhood in a Developing Country
1 Atatürk Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Çocuk Sağlığı ve Hastalıkları Anabilim Dalı, Erzurum  
2 Atatürk University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Erzurum, Turkey  
3 Atatürk University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Erzurum, Turkey  
Eurasian J Med 2008; 40: 25-28

Key Words: Hepatitis A, Children, Seroepidemiology
Abstract

 

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence rate of hepatitis A virus (HAV) and the socio-epidemiological factors affecting HAV among children aged 0-18 years in Eastern Turkey.

 

Materials and Methods: The study sample consisted of 226 children aged 0-18 years who were registered at the Pediatrics Department of Atatürk University Medical Faculty for any reason except jaundice between January and May 2002. The presence of anti-HAV immunoglobulin G (IgG) in the children was determined by ELISA.

Results: The percentage of HAV IgG seropositivity among the 226 children was 59.7%. We detected an increase of HAV prevalence with age. The prevalence of HAV did not differ significantly in relation to gender. HAV prevalence was higher in children of rural areas than in children of urban and suburban areas (P<0.001). Only two of the 226 children had received the HAV vaccine. The percentage of HAV IgG seropositivity of unvaccinated children was 59.3%. HAV seroprevalence was higher in subjects who had a history of jaundice (84.6%) than in those who did not (58.2%). An increase in HAV prevalence was observed with a decrease in socio-economic status (P<0.001).

Conclusion: HAV prevalence was markedly high, but HAV vaccination of children was very low in Erzurum. The socio-demographic factors of age, settlement area, and socio-economic status of family were significantly associated with HAV prevalence.

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