HEPATITIS C VIRUS INFECTION IN DIALYSIS PATIENTS: A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY FROM A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL OF NORTH INDIA
Introduction: HCV infection is a major public health problem with global prevalence of 3%.An estimated 5-20% of infected patients develop cirrhosis annually and 1-4% of these develop hepatocellular carcinoma.HCV infection is a significant problem in hemodialysis patients which poses difficulty in the management of the patients in the renal dialysis units. Material and Methods: This retrospective hospital record based study was carried out in a tertiary care hospital in Faridkot (Punjab), India for a period of 2 years (January 2013 to December 2014).Clinical, demographic and geographical data was collected from the patients. They were tested for anti HCV antibodies by 4th Generation HCV TRIDOT ELISA (J. Mitra & Co. Pvt. Ltd.). Results: Out of the total 262 patients, 88(33.5%) were found to be positive for HCV infection. Out of these 88 HCV positive patients, 59 were males and 29 were females. The highest prevalence was found in the age group of 41-60 years (43.18%) and lowest prevalence was observed in the age group of <20years(2.27%) and >80years(1.17%).There was a predominant rural distribution(70.4%) as compared to urban(29.5%).Among the districts of Punjab, the highest frequency distribution of HCV positivity was found in Faridkot(32.9%) followed by Ferozepur(23.8%), thereafter Moga(19.3%) and lowest was observed in Zira district(1.13%). Conclusion: High prevalence of HCV infection in patients on hemodialysis emphasise the fact that chronic renal failure patients are highly exposed to HCV infection.These patients are also continuously increasing the source/ reservoir of HCV infection in our population.