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Biology (Basel) ; 11(4)2022 Apr 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792833

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the hospitalization of an unselected population with the possibility to evaluate the epidemiology of viral hepatitis. Thus, a retrospective multicenter study was conducted in an area of Southern Italy with the aim of assessing the prevalence of HCV and HBV markers and the ability of current screening program to capture cases. We evaluated 2126 hospitalized patients in seven COVID Centers of Naples and Caserta area in which 70% of the Campania population lives. HBsAg and HCV-Ab prevalence was 1.6% and 5.1%, respectively, with no differences between gender. Decade distribution for birth year shows a bimodal trend of HCV prevalence, with a peak (11.6%) in the decade 1930-1939 and a second peak (5.6%) for those born in 1960-1969. An analysis of the screening period imposed by the Italian government for those born between 1969 and 1989 shows that only 17% of cases of HCV infection could be captured. A small alignment of the screening period, i.e., those born from 1960 to 1984, would capture 40% of cases. The data confirm the high endemicity of our geographical area for hepatitis virus infections and underline the need for a tailored screening program according to the regional epidemiology.

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