Differing characteristics of hepatitis B and C risk factors among elders in a rural area in Taiwan

Chong Shan Wang, Ting Tsung Chang, Pesus Chou

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Both hepatitis B and C are major health concerns in Taiwan. The goal of this study was to determine how risk factors for hepatitis B and C differed in this study population. It was also hoped that the data might help determine how age and place of residence affect hepatitis risk factors. Methods. Complete serum and hepatitis marker analysis (HBsAg and AntiHCV) was done for 282 individuals over 65 years old. Of these, 254 were interviewed for risk factor analysis. Results. Of the 282 subjects, 8.2% were HBsAg+, 27.3% were AntiHCV+, and 3.2% were both HBsAg+ and AntiHCV+. AntiHCV+ subjects were more likely than AntiHCV-subjects to have had frequent medical injections, odds ratio (OR) = 2.94, 957% confidence interval (CI) (1.68, 5.12), and it was the only independent risk factor for determining AntiHCV+, OR = 3.26, 95% CI (1.85, 6.11) (N = 254). The AntiHCV+ group had higher alanine and asparate aminotransferase levels but lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than AntiHCV- and HBsAg+ groups (p < .0001). Abnormal ALT existed in 40.3% of AntiHCV+ and 10.7% of AntiHCV- cases. ALT was associated with AntiHCV and sex, although abnormal AST was only associated with AntiHCV. Conclusions. AntiHCV was closely related with frequent medical injections and was the primary risk factor for abnormal ALT and AST levels in this study population. It appears that frequent medical injections are an important risk factor because of the previously common habit of reusing syringes. This is of major concern to elders in Taiwan because of their much greater likelihood of repeated exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)M107-M111
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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