Epidemiological Survey of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Fife, Scotland

Lukman Hakeem, Grace A Thomsona, Diptendu N Bhattacharyya


Background: HCV infection is of growing public health importance in Scotland. We aim to establish: patient demographics; risk category; year/country of probable infection; referral/follow-up status; and genotypic variance of HCV in Fife.

Methods: Details of all HCV antibody positive patients, referred and assessed at specialist clinics in NHS Fife, until 1stof May 2007 were obtained retrospectively from the Fife hepatitis C database.

Results: In these patients, the ratio of males: female was 2:1, mean age was 36 years, representing a relatively young population, 27.4% of the patients consumed alcohol and 52.4% were smokers. Twelve patients were HIV/HCV co-infected (3.3%). Among the patients, 6.8% had serological evidence of past HBV exposure, 0.5% of patients were HCV/HBV co-infected and 18.8% were vaccinated. Eighty-six percent acquired HCV through injecting drug use and most cases were relatively newly acquired. Referral numbers were on the increase. Thirty-three of patients were under follow-up. Sixty-five percent of patients were genotype 2/3 and 35% were Genotype 1.

Conclusions: Clear patterns were observed in terms of age group, gender, geographical distribution and risk category to facilitate the effective targeting of resources. HCV population in Fife are relatively young, have acquired HCV recently and are mostly of genotype 2/3. This may have a favourable influence on disease progression and cost implications of treating HCV in Fife.

Gastroenterol Res. 2009;2(5):282-288
doi: https://doi.org/10.4021/gr2009.10.1316


Hepatitis C; Genotype; Injecting drug use; Sustained viral response; Epidemiological survey

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