Sero-epidemiologic study of hepatitis C virus infection in Fukuoka, Japan
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We conducted an epidemiological study of 509 residents of H town, Fukuoka, Japan, to investigate the high mortality rate from liver disease. Antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV) (anti-HCV) were detected in 120 residents (23.6%); HCV RNA in 91 (17.9%), and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in 13 (2.6%). Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that presence of anti-HCV, male gender, and history of liver disease were associated with the presence of liver dysfunction, and that age of more than 40 years and a particular district were associated with the presence of anti-HCV. HCV RNA was more frequently detected in anti-HCV-positive men than women (41, or 85.4% versus 50, or 69.4%) (P < 0.05). The incidence of liver dysfunction was significantly higher in HCV RNA-positive men than women (32, or 66.7% versus 22, or 30.6%) (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that: (1) HCV was correlated with the high mortality rate from liver diseases, (2) there were district-related differences in the incidence of HCV, and (3) the lower frequency of elimination of HCV from men may explain why they showed a high mortality from liver disease.
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