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Factors associated with hepatitis C in residents of Sao Paulo, Brazil


Hepatitis C represents a global public health problem. The aim of the present study was to describe the epidemiological profile and to assess exposure variables associated with hepatitis C in residents of Sao Paulo, from the database of viral hepatitis at the National Databank of Major Causes of Morbidity.

Material and methods

We analyzed 24,140 cases of hepatitis C notified in residents of the State of Sao Paulo, among the 46,969 bank records of viral hepatitis between 2007 and 2010. Suspected cases of hepatitis C have been confirmed by the presence of HCV RNA using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The variables selected from the notifications files were sex, age, race, education, number of sexual partners, history of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, intravenous drugs use, inhaled or crack, injecting drugs, tattooing/piercing, acupuncture, blood/products transfusion, surgical, dental treatment, hemodialysis, transplantation and accidents with biological material. Factors associated with HCV infection were identified with univariate and multivariate Poisson regression and confidence intervals of 95%.


The detection rate of hepatitis C was about 15/100000 inhabitants. People aged 50 and over (PR=2,11;95% CI:1,96-2,27), history of blood transfusion (PR=1,41;95% CI: 1,34-1,48), intravenous drugs use (PR=1,33;95% CI: 1,25-1,42), inhalable drugs use or crack (PR=1,27( 1,20-1,35), HIV/AIDS (PR=1,20;95% CI:1,13-1,28), surgical treatment in the past (PR=1,16;95% CI:1,11-1,21) were the main factors independently associated with infection by hepatitis C virus.


These findings reinforce the importance of preventing hepatitis C in vulnerable populations such as drug users and the implementation of drugs misuse related harm reduction programs targeted these segments.

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Correspondence to Norma Farias.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Farias, N., de Oliveira, U.B., Coelho, D.M. et al. Factors associated with hepatitis C in residents of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Retrovirology 9 (Suppl 1), P53 (2012).

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