Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 147–151 | Cite as

Detection of HCV RNA in subjects with antibody to hepatitis C virus among the general population of Fukuoka, Japan

  • Jun Hayashi
  • Koya Nakashima
  • Eriko Yoshimura
  • Miki Hirata
  • Yoshiaki Maeda
  • Seizaburo Kashiwagi
Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary Tract

Abstract

Volunteer blood donors and aged people who came to hospitals for a thorough physical checkup were surveyed to evaluated the exact prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the general population of Fukuoka, Japan. We tested for antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) by second-generation assay and, to distinguish active HCV infection from past resolved infection, we tested for HCV RNA in reactive serum samples by polymerase chain reaction. The prevalence of anti-HCV was 286 (2.0%) of 14341 subjects, increasing with advancing age, from 0.4% in the under-29 age group to 12.0% in the over-70 age group. There were no differences between sexes. HCV RNA was detected in 170 of 286 (59.4%) anti-HCV-positive subjects. The ratio of HCV RNA-positive to anti-HCV-positive subjects was higher in males than in females (P<0.05) and decreased with advancing age, from 72.2% to 46.5%. The prevalence of elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was only 15.9% in subjects with HCV RNA, higher in males (21.4%) than in females (8.3%) (P<0.05). This study revealed that the prevalence of anti-HCV was high in the aged population, but that the ratio of HCV RNA-positive to anti-HCV-positive subjects was low, and most of the HCV RNA-positive subjects had normal ALT levels.

Key words

HCV RNA anti-HCV general population 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Hayashi
    • 1
  • Koya Nakashima
    • 1
  • Eriko Yoshimura
    • 1
  • Miki Hirata
    • 1
  • Yoshiaki Maeda
    • 2
  • Seizaburo Kashiwagi
    • 1
  1. 1.The Department of General MedicineKyushu University HospitalFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Fukuoka Red Cross Blood CenterChikushinoJapan

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