Paramdeep Singh1, Rupinderjeet Kaur2, Amarpreet Kaur3
1 Department of Radiodiagnosis, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India
2 Department of Medicine, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India
Background and Aim: There is a scarcity of published information on epidemiology of Hepatitis C infection in India particularly in Punjab. We conducted a retrospective study to assess the frequency distribution, including demographic and geographical data of patients with Hepatitis C in different regions of Punjab. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively collected the clinical, demographic and geographical data of 516 patients with Hepatitis C admitted in our hospital from January 2010 to December 2010. Punjabi patients with positive anti-Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-enzyme linked immune sorbent assay test for the detection of anti-HCV antibodies were included. Results: There was predominantly rural distribution (67.3%) of patients with maximum cases from Ludhiana district (30.04%). Highest frequency of Hepatitis C infection was found in the middle aged (41-60 years) patients with male predominance. High proportions (44.8%) of the patients included in our study were incidentally detected with Hepatitis C infection on routine screening. Various associations of HCV infection with other diseases were also identified. Conclusions: Hepatitis C is an emerging disease in Punjab with a sizeable cluster of HCV infected asymptomatic persons who can act as a pool for its continuous transmission. The study helps us to predict the probable risk factors for Hepatitis C infection in Punjab. The need of the hour is to increase awareness about HCV among the public and practicing physicians.
Keywords: Epidemiology, Hepatitis C, India, Punjab