The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and HCV viremia among elderly patients in a geriatric hospital in Jerusalem, Israel. Serum samples from 273 patients were analyzed for the presence of anti-HCV antibodies. Serum samples of anti-HCV positive patients were analyzed for HCV RNA after amplification with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The samples were also analyzed for the presence of HBsAg and the HBsAg positive samples were analyzed for the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA. Anti-HCV antibodies were found in 5 patients (1.8%). HCV RNA was detected in one of the 5 patients. HbsAg was found in 2 patients (0.7%). None had detectable HBV DNA. The findings of the study indicate that seropositivity for hepatitis C virus is relatively common among the elderly population studied. Most of those patients are probably not HCV carriers.
- Hepatitis B epidemiology
- Hepatitis C epidemiology