Héctor Baptista-González, Victor M. Noffal-Nuño, Nahum Méndez-Sánchez
Background and rationale for the study. The generation of people born before 1965 is a high-risk group for developing chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Aim. To report the experience on single institution of HCV infection under birth-cohort or baby boomers effect. Material and methods. We used a cross-sectional design of consecutive subjects older than 18 years referred for serological evaluation for anti-HCV and detection of HCV RNA. Results. A total of 7,658 people were included. The global prevalence of HCV antibody was 4.5% (344/7658). The frequency with anti-HCV antibodies were 74 (10.9%), 158 (7.3%), and 112 (2.3%) for people born before 1945, 1945-1965, and 1966-1992, respectively (p < 0.01). The subjects HCV RNA-positive were 88.9%, 68.7%, and 44.4%, respectively (p < 0.001). The viral load was > 100,000 IU/mL in 74.4% of those positive for HCV RNA. Groups of older patients and anti-VHC, with year of birth before 1965, are more likely to show reactivity to HCV RNA and significant viral load (OR 10.0, CI 95% 4.8 to 20.1). Conclusion. We observed a high prevalence of unrecognized chronic HCV infection. The prevalence of HCV infection in people born before 1945 was twice the value of those born after 1965. Further studies are needed to determine the impact on health care services. Future work should focus on determining the appropriate model for the care of people at risk of chronic HCV.
Key words. Hepatitis C antibodies, HCV RNA, Screening, Birth cohort, Chronic hepatitis C