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Positivity for hepatitis virus most common in 16-30 age group, study finds

The study conducted by SRL Diagnostics to mark World Hepatitis Day also found that Hepatitis E was reported highest followed by Hepatitis A, with the latter being most common among children and the former most prevalent in adults.

July 29, 2022 / 04:32 PM IST
(Image: News18 Creative)

(Image: News18 Creative)

A study conducted by SRL Diagnostics has revealed that people in the 16-30 age group were most commonly found to be positive for the hepatitis virus. Further, more males (20 percent) tested positive for viral hepatitis than females (15 percent).

The study conducted by SRL Diagnostics to mark World Hepatitis Day also found that Hepatitis E (21 percent) was reported highest followed by Hepatitis A (18 percent), with the latter being most common among children and the former most prevalent in adults. Additionally, males were found to be affected predominantly with Hepatitis E (46 percent) while females were majorly affected by Hepatitis A (43 percent).

As for geographical distribution, among major cities, Hepatitis E cases were most prevalent in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, at 39, 66, and 51 percent, respectively.

A total of 4,719 consecutive and anonymised samples were selected and analysed wherein tests for all four hepatitis viruses were done in one person in one go, SRL Diagnostics stated in a release. More samples were received from males as compared to females who also showed a higher test positivity, it added.

As per the study, “excluding the confounding factors like grey zones and indeterminate results, one in five samples suspected of hepatitis tested positive for either of the hepatitis virus -- A, B, C, or E”.

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Commenting on World Hepatitis Day, Anand K, CEO, SRL Diagnostics, said: “Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are known to cause chronic hepatitis which can lead to complications including cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Hepatitis is a silent epidemic killing thousands each year. The inclusion of HBV vaccination in the expanded programme of immunisation has been essential to reducing the HBV carrier frequency and disease burden in India. Much more awareness and screening of Hepatitis is the need of the hour.”

Dr Abha Sabhikhi, Technical Director, SRL Diagnostics, said: “On account of World Hepatitis Day on July 28, 2022, we have analysed a retrospective data set of salient viral hepatitis tests done pan-India at SRL Labs so as to identify the statistics of lab tests positive for hepatitis viruses. SRL takes this opportunity to raise awareness as well as encourage prevention, diagnosis and early treatment of viral hepatitis so as to achieve its elimination by 2030.”

Notably, viral hepatitis is a cause of major health care burden in India and is equated as a threat comparable to the “big three” communicable diseases – HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. In India, around 40 million people are infected with hepatitis B and at least 6 to 12 million people with hepatitis C. About 1,76,000 people die each year of hepatitis B- and C-related complications – two times the estimated annual number of HIV and malaria deaths together, as per World Health Organization (WHO) data.
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first published: Jul 29, 2022 04:32 pm
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