Aims: This study was to investigate the seroprevalence of antibodies against HCV (anti HCV) in healthy young men. Setting and duration of study: The study was done at Combined Military Hospital, Attock, from Jan 2001 to Mar 2002. Subjects and methods: Blood samples of 4552 young healthy men belonging to all the provinces/regions of Pakistan, who presented for pre-employment physical examination, were tested for anti HCV by third generation Enzyme Immunoassay kit. The history of intravenous injections, blood transfusions, surgery, jaundice, jaundice in wife or in family and sharing of razors was sought in all subjects. Results: Anti-HCV antibodies were positive in 183 subjects 4.0%. Young Sindhi males had significantly higher seroprevalence than men belonging to other areas. Major risk factors in seropositive subjects were sharing of razors 62.8% and use of injections 35.5%. Past history of jaundice in the family was present in 19%. No identifiable risk factor could be found in 13.1% of seropositive men. Conclusions: Sharing of razors and indiscriminate use of injections for various indications appear to be the major source of transmission of the disease; public education on a major scale is likely to reduce this trend.
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