RESEARCH PAPER
Seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus antibodies (anti-HAV) in adult inhabitants of Wielkopolska region, Poland – the role of simple demographic factors
 
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1
Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
2
Department of Infectious Diseases, Jozef Strus Multidisciplinary Municipal Hospital, Poznan, Poland
3
Department of Computer Science and Statistics, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med 2012;19(4):738–741
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction and objective:
Based on the available epidemiologic data, Poland currently has the features typical for areas of very low endemicity for hepatitis A. The incidence of hepatitis A in the Wielkopolska region in years 2006-2008 was 0.68/100,000 inhabitants or significantly lower. The aim of this cross-sectional analysis was to evaluate the seroprevalence of anti-HAV antibodies in inhabitants of the Wielkopolska region of western Poland regarding some demographic factors.

Material and Methods:
In addition to testing anti-HAV antibodies, the medical history and demographic data, such as age, gender, place of residence, and level of education of 680 patients and 105 healthy blood donors were analyzed.

Results:
Anti-HAV antibodies were observed in 235 cases (29.9%). In univariate regression analysis, the covariates correlated with positive anti-HAV testing were age, female gender and lower level of education. Only 6.2% of young adults were seropositive. Among study participants above the age of 50, anti-HAV antibodies were present in 64-100% of cases. An icteric disease consistent with hepatitis A diagnosis was identified in the histories of 10.2% of seropositive patients.

Conclusions:
The risk for contracting disease after exposure to HAV in young (<40 years old) inhabitants of the Wielkopolska region is high. Apart from older individuals, also women and people with a lower level of education are more frequently seropositive. A low level of immunity to HAV should be an indication for vaccination against HAV , especially in selected groups.

 
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