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Hepatitis B and C virus prevalence in a rural area of South Korea: the role of acupuncture

By H R Shin, J Y Kim, J I Kim, D H Lee, K Y Yoo, D S Lee and S Franceschi


A cross-sectional study evaluated the prevalence of and the risk factors for hepatitis C and B viruses among 700 adults above the age of 40 years in a rural area of South Korea. Seropositivity for hepatitis C virus antibody (11.0%, 95% confidence interval: 8.7–13.6) was higher than that for hepatitis B surface antigen (4.4%, 95% confidence interval: 3.0–6.2). Anti-hepatitis C virus seropositivity was associated with a history of repeated acupuncture (odds ratio=2.1, 95% confidence interval: 1.1–4.0), and blood transfusion (odds ratio=5.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.6–19.3) before 1992 when hepatitis C virus screening in blood donors became mandatory. Hepatitis C virus 2a was the most prevalent genotype, followed by 1b. Hepatitis C virus risk attributable to acupuncture was 38% (9% for men and 55% for women). Safer acupuncture practice has become a priority for hepatitis C virus prevention in South Korea

Topics: Epidemiology
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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