Saba Ilyas A. Malik, Humaira Durrani, Wajiha Rizwan, Ayesha Saif, Ambreen Nasir
Aim: Uncovering the prevalence of, and risk factors for Hepatitis C infection among gravid women attending Punjab Rangers Hospital Lahore.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted by random selection of antenatal patients visiting Obs. & Gynae OPD at Punjab Rangers Teaching Hospital. After taking informed consent, serological test to detect Serum antibodies against HCV was performed. Positive individuals were confirmed via PCR test for HCV RNA. The patients who were then confirmed positive were given a self generated Questionnaire for collection of data regarding risk factors for HCV infection. Diagnosed cases were excluded from study. A total of 300 pregnant women of age 16-45years who visited the antenatal clinic were selected..
Results: A study was conducted on 300 pregnant women within the age range of 16-45 years, for 6 months. Out of which, positivity for anti HCV antibodies was 29 (9.7%), of which 14 (10%) were between 26-30 years of age. Multigravidas comprised 21 (72.4%) of the positive pool. On analyzing the questionnaire it was found that 21(72.4%) patients were using IV injections, a major risk factor for contracting the infection.
Conclusion: In our setup there is high prevalence of viral infection in pregnant women. The possible risk factors are surgery, infections and blood transfusion.
Keywords: Hepatitis C, pregnancy, serum antibody