Prevalence of Hepatitis C Amongst Beta-thalassemia Patients in Gilan and Mazandaran Provinces, 2011

Masoud Ghane, Mina Eghbali, Masoumeh Abdolahpour



Beta-thalassemia patients have a high prevalence for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In developing countries, HCV antibody is reported to be high in this group of patients. This study aims to determine the distribution of HCV amongst beta-thalassemia patients in northern Iran.

Materials and Methods:

This study was undertaken from October 2010 to June 2011 on 245 beta-thalassemia patients who referred to hospitals in Mazandaran and Gilan Provinces for blood transfusions. The presence of HCV antibodies in their plasma was measured by ELISA and viral genome was determined by Nested-PCR. SPSS software and the chi-square test were used for statistical analyses.


Of the 245 beta-thalassemia patients, 46 (18.8%) were identified by ELISA to have HCV antibodies. Of these, 28 (11.4%) were positive for the viral genome. Overall, this study demonstrated a significant relationship between age, social background, dental work history and foreign travel with viral prevalence.


The prevalence of HCV in this study group is reported at 11.4%. In comparison to its prevalence in the society as a whole, less than 1% is quite high. For this reason, utilizing a more proper screening system is essential.


Hepatitis C virus; Beta-thalassemia; Prevalence; North of Iran.

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