Hepatitis C Infection in the General Population of Iran: A Systematic Review
Hepatitis Monthly: 9 (3); 211-223 Article Type: Review Article
May 30, 2009
August 11, 2009
M, Bahrami Ahmadi
A, et al. Hepatitis C Infection in the General Population of Iran: A Systematic Review,
Online ahead of Print
Background and Aims: There is no overall estimate of hepatitis C infection (HCV) in Iran. We reviewed all of the published and unpublished evidence related to HCV infection in Iran in order to accurately estimate the prevalence of HCV infection in the Iranian general population to inform future health system programs.
Methods:In this systematic review,all papers, medical congresses, HCV-related reports, projects of Iranian research centers and medical universities, reports from the Deputy for Health Affairs (published or unpublished), and online theses about HCV in Iran were included. We selected descriptive and analytic cross-sectional studies and surveys related to the prevalence of HCV infection in the Iranian general population between 2001 and 2008 that have sufficiently declared objectives, proper sampling methods with identical and valid measurement instruments for all study subjects and proper analysis methods regarding sampling design and demographic adjustments. We used a survey data analysis method to estimate the national prevalence rate.
Results: From the 6,431 studies we investigated, eight eligible studies reported a prevalence of HCV infection in the general population. They were from six (out of 30) provinces, in which about 43 percent of the country's population lives. We calculated that the HCV infection prevalence rate in Iran is 0.16% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0%-0.59%).
Conclusions:In comparison with similar studies, the prevalence of HCV infection in Iran is low. This might be a result of having prevention programs for high-risk groups and strict blood screening programs.
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