Risk Factors of Hepatitis B Transmission in Northern Palestine: a Case – Control Study

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
BMC Research Notes 2014, 7:190 doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-190
Year of Publication: 
Zaher Nazzal
Assistant Professor in Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Box 7,707, Nablus, Palestine
Current Affiliation: 
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Inam Sobuh
MPH, Faculty of Graduate Studies, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

Background The Hepatitis B (HB) infection is a significant health problem in Palestine, which is categorized as an HB virus moderate endemic area, with the HB carrier rate ranging from 2-6%. The aim of this study is to determine the risk factors of Hepatitis transmission in the northern areas of Palestine in order to help prevent and control this prevalent health problem.
Methods A case–control study was implemented to achieve the study objectives. One hundred HB virus seropositive cases and another 100 seronegative controls were included in the study. Univariate analysis and a logistic regression model were performed to examine probable risk factors of acquisition of HB infections.
Results Univariate analysis showed that HB case-patients were more likely to report having a history of blood transfusion, dental visits, hospitalization, Hejamat, sharing shaving equipments, intravenous drug use, or living abroad than controls were. The logistic regression model revealed a history of dental visits to be the most significant risk factor, (P value <0.001, OR 5.6; 95% CI 2.8-11.1).
Conclusion The presence of these risk factors emphasizes the need for both increasing the uptake of HB vaccine and implementing risk-targeted public health education. Development and enforcement of appropriate infection control guidelines for dental care services are important to prevent HB virus transmission as well.

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